I took a look at my extensive herb garden yesterday and realized that I hadn't yet used sage even once this summer. In order to rectify this oversight, I recalled a delicious and simple recipe given to me by my friend and Italian food guru Michael G. - twists of pasta and sausage coins bathed in browned butter beautifully scented with fresh sage leaves. A sagacious choice to highlight the herb! I went with gemelli, but Michael recommended cavatelli as his choice pasta shape to use. Anything with nooks and crannies to catch the sumptuous sage butter will do, though!
Gemelli with Browned Sage Butter and Sausage
Makes 2 hearty servings
Recipe adapted from my generous pal Michael.
*1/2 lb hot Italian sausage
*1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons of salted butter
*6 fresh sage leaves
*Lots of freshly cracked pepper
*8 oz gemelli pasta
*1/4 cup grated Parm-Reg
*Handful of chopped parsley
Put water on to boil for the pasta. Fill a wide saute pan with about a half-inch of water over medium heat, and lay the sausage in when it starts to simmer. After 10 minutes, flip the sausages over and simmer them for another 5 minutes, at which point the sausages should be firm and almost entirely cooked through. Transfer them to a cutting board and slice them into coins about half an inch thick. Discard the water in the pan and after a quick rinse 'n wipe, add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and put back on the burner on the higher side of medium. When the butter melts, add the sausage coins in an even layer and let them cook – untouched – until they are deeply browned on the first side. Flip and brown them on the other side. When the sausages are browned, set them aside and add the fresh sage leaves, 3 tablespoons butter, and a few twists of pepper. Stir the butter and scrape at the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. After a minute or two, it should stop foaming and start to take on color. Cook a few more minutes while you drain the pasta, and then add the pasta and the sausages to the pan. Add the cheese and parsley and a little more pepper, stir everything together until nicely incorporated, then dole out dinner!