Spaghettoni with Butter and Brewer's Yeast

Italian chef Ricardo Camanini built an award-winning reputation on this incredibly delicious spaghettoni recipe topped with butter and a surprising ingredient: brewer's yeast. The dish has such simple, luscious, and—thanks to brewer's yeast—funky, umami appeal that legendary French chef Alain Ducasse declared it the best dish ever. At Lido 84, his restaurant on Lake Garda in Northern Italy, Camanini oven-dries fresh cakes of yeast for hours, but the store-bought powdered version works just as well. Tossing the spaghettoni with the butter constantly at the end of cooking emulsifies the sauce.  You'll want inactive brewer's yeast for this recipe. The version from Twinlab has a delicious, funky, umami flavor.

Spaghettoni with Butter and Brewer's Yeast
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 4 quarts water

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 pound spaghettoni pasta (thick spaghetti)

  • ¾ cup unsalted high-fat (82% to 85% butterfat) butter (such as Minerva Dairy) (6 ounces)

  • ¾ teaspoons black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons inactive brewer's yeast (such as Twinlab)


  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot over medium-high. Add 3 tablespoons salt; stir in pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.

  2. When pasta has 2 minutes left to cook, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low.

  3. Using tongs, transfer pasta from pot directly to melted butter in skillet, allowing some pasta water to drip into the pan. Cook, stirring and tossing with tongs constantly, until sauce is creamy and emulsified and sauce coats noodles, about 2 minutes, adding 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid at a time as needed to reach desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss to coat.

  4. Divide pasta evenly among 6 plates; pour any remaining sauce in skillet over pasta. Sprinkle servings evenly with brewer's yeast (1 1/2 teaspoons each). Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Brioche-y, complex Italian sparkling: NV Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut

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