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Monday, August 1, 2011

Sage Ravioli

This hardly qualifies as a recipe, but again a reminder that good food can be fast and simple.  And I've never seen directions that I'm happy with regarding browning butter.

I'd love to say that I make homemade ravioli.  My boys' great-great-grandparents were from Italy and there's an antique family pasta roller somewhere at my in-laws' house.  I envision trooping over once a month with the kids, making tons of homemade pasta and drying it while we sit around and look at old photos, the boys learning about family history and cultural heritage as much as cooking skills (not to mention the fun of hand-cranking pasta)...but that's not what we do.  Maybe someday.

So I use store-bought ravioli (or another filled pasta).  Feel free to use homemade if you make it (brava! brava! if you do).  Using pre-frozen ravioli makes this an easy freezer kit...freeze the pasta and butter in a bag or container together and either make sure to have fresh sage when you cook or freeze a handful of sage sprigs wrapped in a paper towel.  Pat the thawed sage dry before cooking...it won't be quite as crispy as fresh would be, but it's still good.

I use the highly scientifically measured amount of a "big ol' fistful" of sage leaves.  It's about 1/2 ounce if you buy them, but really...if you've got a square foot of sunny space in your yard, plant a sage plant!  This isn't a gardening blog, so I won't go into great detail, but it's perennial, retains leaves in Zone 5 through the winter (for year-round use), and is way cheaper than buying fresh herbs at the store.  And no, you can't make this recipe with dry sage out of a tin pot. 

Ravioli with Browned Butter and Sage
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 lbs. frozen ravioli
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat while the water for your pasta comes to a boil.

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.  Better to have the pasta wait on the butter sauce than the sauce waiting on the pasta.  Plan accordingly.

When you drop the pasta, add the sage leaves to the butter and turn the heat to a pinch above medium.  Cook the sage 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the foam subsides, the butter browns and the sage is crispy.  Crisping sage takes about the same about of time as browning butter, but pay attention!  The butter will burn quickly if you're not careful.  Better to quit cooking the sage too early than continue to cook the butter too long.  Stir the sauce immediately into the cooked pasta and serve. Pin It

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