Sage smells and tastes amazing. Earlier this week I went to a nursery to pick up some herbs to start a little culinary garden. In college, I tried my hand at plants and it was all slaughter and death. But now armed with Getting Things Done (read my review here), online watering calenders, and a healthy peer group of gardeners, I hope things will end up differently. When I was picking out my herbs, I nibbled on leaves and, sage was far and above my favorite. I think a lot of herbs are for lack of a better word, pungent, like a flick in the nose. But sage was warm, fragrant, earthy, toasty, but not overwhelming.
Although I looked at a lot of recipes, I built mine around Mark Bittman’s butter pasta recipe and added veggies so it would feel healthier.
I cooked ten thinly sliced sage leaves in about three tablespoons of butter until the butter turned golden yellow with a lot of brown bits at the bottom. I saw that sausage was a common pairing with sage, and in another sauce pan, I cooked 1 hot italian sausage. Once it was mostly cooked, I added a thinly sliced zucchini and a few handfuls of spinach.
I was afraid that the sausage would overwhelm the browned butter, but wow, sage, is no pushover.
Brown Butter and Sage Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Zucchini
YIELDS 2 Servings
8 ounces of pasta
3 tablespoons of butter
10 sage leaves
1 sausage, casing removed
1/3 cup of Parmesan
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of spinach
salt and pepper
Cook pasta to according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small sauce, melt three tablespoons of butter with ten shredded sage leaves. The butter will brown very quickly and will have distinctive nutty smell. Pour the browned butter into a separate heat safe container, wipe down the pan, and add one sausage. Break it up with a wooden spoon and once browned, maybe a few minutes, add the zucchini and spinach. Cook over medium heat covered until the spinach is wilted.
Once the pasta is done, toss all the ingredients together, top off with the parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.