simply satisfying – Tagliatelle in sage butter parmesan

ITALIAN food is all about ingredients.  It’s not fussy and it’s not fancy – Wolfgang Puck.

spinach salad with leftover grilled salmon
with spinach salad & leftover grilled salmon

Those words were never truer than in this recipe, which is really not even a recipe – which is in itself molto italiano!

I first tasted this very simple dish when a friend made it for us in Tuscany.  She made it using fresh gnocchi and freshly crumbled gorgonzola and it tasted divine.  Of course any type of fresh pasta & cheese would be amazing in Tuscany.  Since then I’ve tried making it the same way and slightly different versions too.  I can tell you that none is as good as the original in Tuscany but you can experiment and come up with something almost as good.

 Basically all you do is toast the sage leaves in butter until crisp. Fresh is best but if you don’t have that, then buy it in the package from the herb section of your grocery store.  I use either the whole package or a big handful of fresh herbs.  Use a generous amount of butter – about half a stick. Coat the pasta (try gnocchi or orechiette – something with ridges to coat each piece) right in the pan with the sauce and then crumble either the freshest gorgonzola cheese you can find overtop or roughly grated best quality parmesan cheese which will melt right in.  S+P to taste and some red chilli pepper if you like it slightly picante. Serve with a side salad & crusty bread.

TIP: Pasta like this makes a great side for chicken and fish dishes as well.

A tavola non si invecchiaItalian proverb.

  Which means: At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.

 Don’t you love eating being Italian?

One Pan Pasta – for the lazy gourmet

Here’s something you might not have thought of before but not only does it work – it works surprisingly WELL.  One-Pan Pasta!  (not to be confused with first cooking the spaghetti & tossing it in a pan of already made sauce a la Sopranos.  Are you kidding?  No need to over work yourself.

At the Start
At the Start

There’s a tiny restaurant in the Puglia region of Italy where the chef places dried pasta in a skillet with water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Then he cooks everything together and it has become their house dish ever since.

I had to try it out myself because it seemed way too simple and I wasn’t sure how everything would turn out.  So…

After laying out enough linguine for two people in a skillet, I added about 1 ½ cups of water – enough to just cover the pasta since there was no actual recipe.  I added the above ingredients but instead of putting in fresh tomatoes I just used a can of peeled plum tomatoes with the juice.  Also a bit of tomato paste as I thought there was a bit too much water at first, a sprinkling of hot pepper flakes & a squeeze of lemon.

Almost Ready
Almost Ready

Once the water had boiled away we were left with perfectly al dente pasta in a creamy sauce that coated every strand & tasted like something you would find in a restaurant in the tiny village of Puglia.

This is the perfect glamping dish, or for times when you don’t have too much time or just for those that love pasta (like me) and are always looking for new ways to cook it.

Tell me if you’ve tried this before.