Seaweed Brown Butter Pasta

‘A gateway recipe for seaweed skeptics,’ according to Hetty McKinnon, this easy weeknight dish packs a briny, umami punch.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    30 minutes


By Hetty McKinnon

Published on July 28, 2023

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This seaweed brown butter pasta recipe, from author Hetty McKinnon’s new book, Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds, is all about umami. If it’s your first time cooking with dulse, the lettuce-like red seaweed, you’ll love its clean, briny flavor. Toasting it lends it a pleasant smokiness. The seaweed butter is also terrific tossed with roasted vegetables or slathered on crusty bread.


  • ⅓ cup dried dulse flakes
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, or vegan butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. fine salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼–½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. linguine, or other long pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, or 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and vegan furikake, for topping (optional)


Step 1

In a small skillet set over low heat, toast the dulse, stirring frequently, until crispy and very dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form, 4–5 pulses. Add the butter, salt, and crushed red pepper and pulse until combined (but not completely smooth), 4–5 pulses.

Step 2

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain and set aside.

Step 3

Meanwhile, to a large skillet set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the seaweed butter and continue cooking until it’s melted and smells nutty, 2–3 minutes. Whisk in the miso paste. Add the pasta and ½ cup of the pasta water and toss until combined. If the pasta looks dry, add more pasta water. Season with salt to taste, then top with the cheese and furikake if desired. 

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