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Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Crispy Bread Crumbs

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  1. 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
  2. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  7. 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
  8. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated myzithra (see Note) or ricotta salata cheese
  9. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the toasted bread crumbs from the heat and add the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Stir in the parsley.
  3. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Cook until foamy and dark brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the browned butter and the cheeses, season with salt and pepper and toss. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the bread crumbs and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
Notes Myzithra is a Greek sheep's-milk cheese that is similar in texture to a dry ricotta cheese.
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