Pasta with Parmesan, Sage and Brown Butter

Pasta. Sage. Brown Butter. Parmesan. That’s it.

This four ingredient pasta comes together in just a few minutes and is far greater than the sum of its parts.


1. 1 lb tubular pasta (such as penne), cooked just shy of al dente (about one minute less than package directions)

2. Large handful (approximately 1.5 oz) fresh sage leaves

3. 4 oz (1 stick) salted butter

4. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


1. Begin by heating water for pasta. Cook your pasta shallow, just covered by about 1/2 of water. This will make the pasta water starchier and you’ll be using it at the end to emulsify the sauce.

2. Dump the pasta and set a timer. Penne pasta will cook in about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. In a large sauté pan (or other pan large enough to hold the pasta), melt the butter over medium high heat, swirling as it melts. Once the butter is nice and foamy, add the sage leaves and stir to coat. Fry sage leaves until just wilted and butter is lightly browned. Stir occasionally.

4. Once the butter is browned and the sage is wilted, off the heat.

5. Reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water (dipping a coffee mug in the pasta water works great here) and set aside.

6. Drain pasta and give it a shake to drain excess water.

7. Add the pasta to the pan with the sage and butter. Add about half the reserved pasta water (about 2 tablespoons), 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

8. Return pan to medium heat. Cover with a lid and shake vigorously to emulsify the sauce.

9. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.

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