Last weekend, I arrived home from swimming laps at Iowa City’s City Park pool and decided it was time for some pasta. We had perfectly delicious grilled chicken in the refrigerator and plenty of salad greens, but I had been fighting a craving for sage-butter pasta for days, and couldn’t stave it off any longer. I abandoned the arguably healthy chicken salad for some buttery carbs.
I had ravioli al burro e salvia (ravioli with sage butter) for the first time at my friend Brian’s 40th birthday party at i Ricchi in Washington D.C. The mix of rich butter and woodsy sage was revelatory, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t encountered it before.
This is not a particularly summery dish. “Nothing says summer like a hot bowl of pasta,” Steve said, before returning to the pot for a second helping.
With the sage plant making a strong showing, I decided to throw seasonality to the wind and succumb to my cravings. But in a nod toward making this my own, I decided to throw some of the Italian parsley into the mix. The plant’s struggling a little bit, but I thought I might be able to cut a little off without too much ill effect.
A rough chop of the herbs, a hot colander of drained whole wheat fusilli, some butter and olive oil sizzling in the bottom of the pasta pot, and then a toss to mix everything together, and lunch was served. Ordinarily, I would have topped it with a little fresh grated parmesan, but I didn’t have the energy. The pre-shredded Romano in the refrigerator served as an able stand-in.
“Why don’t we just finish it off?” Steve said, looking longingly at the leftovers.
I suggested saving the rest for the next day. Dinner would, after all, require some sort of side dish.
Pasta with Butter-Sage-Parsley Sauce
12 to 16 oz. dry pasta
A fistful of sage leaves and parsley
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Grated Parmesan, Asiago or Romano
Cook the pasta as directed. While the pasta cooks, roughly chop the herbs. When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it into a colander in the sink. Let it rest there while you heat the olive oil and butter in the pasta pan. When the butter is melted and the oil-butter mix is sizzling, add the chopped herbs, stir for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and add the pasta. Toss until thoroughly mixed, season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste, and serve immediately, topped with the grated cheese.