Browned Butter & Sage Sauce: Dinner in Minutes

Browned Butter & Sage Sauce: Dinner in Minutes

There are some days when I just can’t face cooking yet another dinner. I. Just. Can’t. But we’re broker than broke, and my occasional habit of ignoring food until it spoils doesn’t help. Ordering in? Almost never happens. And we’ve got to eat, so… Into the kitchen I trudge.

That’s when I’m glad I keep a well-stocked pantry. (As in, stuff that doesn’t go bad.) The other night I went in with absolutely no idea of what we’d eat, but less than 30 minutes later dinner was on the table. Lucky me, I’d found some butternut squash ravioli in the freezer, and at the back of the crisper was a package of fresh sage which, when I sorted through it, still had a handful of leaves green enough to use. Add a little butter and some Parm, and hallelujah, we’re eating!

Harry, of course, had yogurt and fruit for dinner.

Browned Butter & Sage Sauce
Very loosely adapted from Lidia’s Family Table
Serves 3
Weight Watchers: Each serving is a very reasonable 3 PointsPlus (not counting whatever you put it on)

1 package ravioli or gnocchi, or 6 ounces of dry pasta
3 tablespoons butter
A small handful of fresh sage leaves
Plenty of black pepper
1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil, covered to speed things up. When it boils add the pasta and cook according to package directions, minus two minutes. Before draining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, put the butter over medium heat in a stainless-steel skillet large enough to hold the pasta. Swirl it around a bit as it melts, just to keep it cooking evenly. It’ll foam, and when the foam subsides the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the pan occasionally, but just watch it otherwise. When the butter begins to smell nutty and the color is barely golden brown, add the sage leaves in a single layer. Let them sizzle in the butter for a minute or two, while the butter browns further. If your pasta timer hasn’t gone off yet, remove from the heat.
  3. When the timer goes off add the reserved cooking water, the pepper, and the Parm, then transfer the pasta to the pan and let it simmer over low heat until the water has been mostly absorbed and the pasta looks saucy.
  4. Serve with additional grated Parm.

MAKE BABY FOOD: The filling inside a ravioli is, let’s face it, baby food. If you’re on purees you can either scoop some out for baby or toss a sauced ravioli or two into a food processor. For finger food, just cut one up.