Simple Sage

Summer equals fresh – from the farm strawberries, carrots with green tops, and herbs, my favourite green thumb goodies. While basil and mint are my musts, I also love sage. Being highly-aromatic, sage is perfect for pasta, but also goes well with gourmet grilled cheese (try a mozza-sage some lunch time and you’ll be kicking plain cheddar to the curb).

DSC02146Tortellini with Sage-Walnut Butter is one of my favourite pasta dishes to make because it sounds so posh, but is actually quite simple (you don’t have to tell anyone though). But, the key, I believe, it being able to step outside and pluck those fabulous suede-like leaves right before you put them in the pan.

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This sage sauce and balsamic drizzle that accompanies it can be pretty much completed by the time your tri-colour tortellini cooks, making it a great weekday dinner.

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I like to use a little more butter than what’s called for, and let the sage simmer in it low and slow for about 5 minutes. The recipe calls for 1 cup of pasta water, but I think that waters down the herbalicious flavour.

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At the same time work on the balsamic/honey glaze in another pot/pan. I’ve never really understood what bay leaves do for sauces, so if you don’t have one handy for this, don’t worry it doesn’t make much difference. Go low and slow on this one too, it can get thick quick.

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Once your pasta is cooked toss it with your beautiful sage butter, and drizzle as little or as much balsamic sauce as you want on top.

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Tortellini with Sage-Walunt Butter

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Bay leaf
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. sage leaves
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 lb. tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan

Directions

  • Combine 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp. honey, and a bay leaf in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until syrupy, 5 minutes.
  • Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1/3 c. sage leaves and 1 c. chopped walnuts; cook 3 minutes. Add 1 c. pasta-cooking water and cook until reduced by half, 2 minutes (I don’t, but up to you).
  • Toss with 1 lb. cooked tortellini, some grated Parmesan and salt. Drizzle with the balsamic syrup.