Rachael Ray's Brown Butter, Sage & Sausage Casarecce

This recipe is deceptively simple and insanely rich. For an entrée, serve with sautéed dark greens or an escarole salad.
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brown butter sage and sausage casarecce

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée, or 8 to 10 as a side dish or starterServings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock

  • Salt

  • 1 lb. casarecce pasta or other short-cut pasta

  • 6 tbsp. butter

  • 18 to 20 fresh sage leaves

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • White pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg (no more than 1/8 tsp. each)

Preparation

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the sausage. Cook, occasionally stirring and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the wine. Reduce heat to low. Let simmer while the pasta cooks.

3. Salt the boiling water; add the pasta. Cook until 1 to 2 minutes shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.

4. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a paper towel. Remove the skillet from heat. Reserve the brown butter.

5. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parm, and parsley. Season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir the pasta, cooking water, sausage, and browned butter into the cheeses. Transfer to a platter or divide among shallow bowls. Top with the fried sage.