Every other week or so my family has an Italian dinner. And every time we have it, I pig out! Which for me is abut two bowls of pasta, but still I eat more than usual. I adore pasta; it is probably my favorite Italian food. The thing I like the most about it is how many ways you can make it. You can do pasta plain, you can do it with an Alfredo, marinara, cheese, butter, pesto. If you can stir it, you can put it on pasta. One of my favorite things to use is compound butters. There are so many different flavors you can use. There is one butter that I have been using for years, ever since before I even started cooking! Here’s the recipe.
TT Jr.’s Favorite Compound Butter
4 Tb. salted butter
1/2 Tb. fresh rosemary
1 Tb. Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Take the butter out at least one hour before you plan on mixing everything together. Leave the butter out on the counter so it will soften enough to stir it easily. Finely mince the rosemary and garlic. Grate the Parmesan cheese. Stir everything together in a small ceramic bowl. If you need it, add in a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to brighten it up a little. Chill the butter for half an hour. After half an hour take the butter out and scoop it onto a piece of saran wrap. Fold the saran wrap over the butter so it is completely covered. Mold the butter with your hands into whatever shape you like, I tend to do it in a log shape so it resembles the actual stick of butter. Throw it back in the fridge and keep it there until you need it.
I actually have a very funny story for all of you before I leave. The first time I ever made this butter, I went a little crazy on the garlic. I love garlic, but three or four large cloves of garlic in only half a stick of butter is overwhelming. Rosemary being a strong flavor, stood out a little, but the Parmesan was completely lost. It was still yummy, but the flavors were lost and the bite of the garlic was way too much.
So, remember, when it comes to garlic, always use a light hand, leave the heavy hand behind for the Parmesan cheese.