Pasta

Easy Parmesan Pasta with Butter & Pepper

May 19, 2019 (Last Updated: July 30, 2019)

The Ultimate Parmesan Pasta! Pasta ribbons are tossed with butter, olive oil, black pepper and lots of parmesan for an incredibly simple comfort food recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes.

An overhead shot of two bowls of parmesan pasta with grated parmesan in a bowl at the side

Parmesan Pasta in Italy

One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had was this simple, rustic pasta dish….say what?

I was once served ribbons of mafalde pasta in a WHOLE parmesan wheel. They scraped the cheese with two forks so all the crumbs covered the pasta and then it was served on my plate.

Hello, best freaking cheesy pasta I’ve ever tasted!

It was incredible, strong, salty and buttery cheese with perfectly cooked al dente ribbons of pasta. It’s now my go-to cheesy pasta dish and you can make it at home sooo easily (minus the whole cheese wheel).

How to Make the Ultimate Parmesan Pasta – Step By Step

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil according to packet instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, grate the parmesan with a fork to resemble large crumbs, it doesn’t matter if there are some larger crumbs (photos 1 & 2).

Step by step photos for making parmesan pasta

Add the butter and olive oil to a large bowl. Once the pasta is cooked transfer it from the boiling water with a spaghetti spoon or tongs to the bowl (photo 3).

Toss the pasta in the butter and olive oil until it’s completely coated and the butter has melted. Once the butter is melted add the parmesan. Toss the pasta until evenly coated add a pinch of black pepper and serve (photo 4).

Can I use Pecorino?

I recommend using Parmigiano Reggiano not your regular parmesan or Pecorino. Parmigiano Reggiano has such a high-quality flavour and has the perfect salty, buttery flavour that this pasta needs.

You could use Pecorino if you really wanted but I find it a bit too salty to enjoy in this way.

Prepping Ahead and How to Store Leftovers

The great thing about this pasta recipe is that it’s still incredibly delicious cold especially because all of the cheese doesn’t melt. I’ve often made this for lunch on the go or picnics. You may need to a drizzle of oil to loosen it once cooled but just pop it into your container and eat within 1 day.

A fork picking up some parmesan pasta from a bowl

Important Tips to Make this Recipe Perfectly

  • I like to remove the pasta with a spaghetti spoon or tongs instead of draining it so there’s a little pasta water to help emulsify the sauce and add extra flavour.
  • If possible grate the parmesan like I’ve shown in the step by step photos with a fork so it resembles coarse crumbs. I’ve found this recipe is 10x better when I do this just like they served it in Italy. Some of the cheese melts and some stays in little chunks giving you the ultimate cheesy hit!
  • Black pepper is a must, the peppery kick cuts through the rich cheese.
  • I recommend using a long pasta shape if you can’t find Mafalde I’d use tagliatelle or spaghetti.

More Simple Pasta Recipes You Might Like:

If you’ve tried this Easy Parmesan Pasta or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Parmesan Pasta with Butter and Pepper

The Ultimate Parmesan Pasta! Strong, salty and buttery cheese with perfectly cooked al dente ribbons of pasta. Ready in 15 mins!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 484
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil according to packet instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, grate the parmesan with a fork to resemble large crumbs (it doesn't matter if there are some larger crumbs)
  • Add the butter and olive oil to a large bowl. Once the pasta is cooked transfer it from the boiling water with a spaghetti spoon to the bowl draining off any excess water.
  • Toss the pasta in the butter and olive oil until it's completely coated and the butter has melted. Leave the pasta to cool for 30 seconds to 1 minute then add the parmesan. Toss the pasta until evenly coated add a pinch of black pepper and serve.

Notes

  • I like to remove the pasta with a spaghetti spoon instead of draining it so there's a little pasta water to help emulsify the sauce and add extra flavour.
  • If possible grate the parmesan like I've shown in the step by step photos with a fork so it resembles coarse crumbs. I've found this recipe is 10x better when I do this just like they served it in Italy. Some of the cheese melts and some stays in little chunks giving you the ultimate cheesy hit!
  • Black pepper is a must, the peppery kick cuts through the rich cheese.
  • I recommend using a long pasta shape if you can't find Mafalde I'd use tagliatelle or spaghetti.

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    July 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

    One of my favorite pasta dishes ever! I love how simple it is.

  • Reply
    J.R.
    May 27, 2019 at 9:07 am

    I want to make this tomorrow! (it’s midnight now) But it definitely looks like Amazon’s the only place I’ll be able to get this Mafaldine pasta. AND tomorrow’s a holiday in the US, AND, they don’t offer same day shipping on it. So, I can’t get it until Wednesday ๐Ÿ™

    #firstworldproblems

  • Reply
    LILCHORES
    August 13, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    I think there is an error in your recipe… You say to “Toss the pasta in the butter and PARMESAN until it’s completely coated and the butter has melted. Leave the pasta to cool for 1 minute then add the PARMESAN. … Did you possibly mean to toss the paster in butter and OLIVE OIL until its completely coated, leave to cool and then add the PARMESAN?

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      August 13, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      Hi, yes you’re totally right I typed that up wrong. Thanks so much for pointing that out, I’ve updated the recipe.

  • Reply
    Lisa Bryan
    July 27, 2017 at 2:39 am

    There’s just something about eating pasta in Italy, isn’t there? And it’s dishes like this with simple ingredients and so much flavor that are the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jenn
    July 27, 2017 at 1:37 am

    I can only imagine how amazing it was eating this while in Italy! Sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best.

  • Reply
    Patty @ Spoonabilities
    July 27, 2017 at 1:17 am

    There is nothing like a good bowl of buttery noodles topped with parm cheese. I will take that every day of the week ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Christina | Christina's Cucina
    July 27, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I can totally understand how such a simple dish can taste so amazing that you remember it for the rest of your life (I’m sure you’ll never forget it)! That’s why recipes that include 20 ingredients and have 10 herbs and spices and are entitled “Italian” make my blood pressure go sky high! Grrr…

    This is the real thing, people! THIS is Italian food!

    P.S. You have to tell me the name of the restaurant if you remember! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 26, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I love my pasta. I have to use gluten free, but the recipes are still delicious!

  • Leave a Reply

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