Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brown Butter, Sage and Walnut Pasta Sauce (Burro, salvia e salsa noci) over Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

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One of my very favorite things about living my year as an Italian Grandmother is breaking my addiction to tomato based sauces for pasta.  Who knew so many wonderful tastes were out there just waiting.

This is among the easiest and tastiest.  It has the distinction of being the sauce that I return to again and again in just the first six weeks of my "Campagna Italiana".  It's that good!

And very very easy.  But I will get to that.  The highlight is the butter softened walnuts.  The Earthy nutty taste, sweetened with the butter,  combined with the texture of buttery softness around the shell, and still a crunch in the center.

Love it!

The sage adds just the right touch of herbal flavor.  This is a classic old school sauce that has been done since pasta was first introduced.  Since tomatoes were not a part of the Italian diet until after Columbus brought them back, this would be the true "Classic" Italian pasta sauce.

A worthy place in culinary history indeed!

I have covered making Ravioli in the past... Click HERE for my Heart shaped Beet Ravioli.  Ravioli (stuffed pasta) is getting easier and easier.  It is one of those kitchen skills that takes forever (seemingly) the first time you try.  Faster and easier each time you try.

For this dish I made simple triangles, starting with a square of pasta, a tsp of filling, wetting the edges and folding over.  As always, most important is to seal the edges carefully or the goop will seep out while cooking.

OK, here's what I did...

Ravioli with spinach and Ricotta 
(Ravioli di spinaci e Ricotta)

  • 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
  • 5 Ounces Spinach, stems removed and chopped fine
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • Several sheets of Fresh made Pasta
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the Ricotta, Spinach, Parmesan, Honey, Salt and Pepper
  2. Cut the sheets of pasta into 2 inch squares (use a pasta cutter to get consistent size.
  3. Drop 1 rounded tsp of filling into the center of a pasta square, wet the edges with water and fold over forming a triangle.
  5. Dust the ravioli with flour so they do not stick to the plate as you finish the rest.
  6. Drop in boiling salt water for 3-4 minutes until they all float.
  7. Sauce, and ENJOY!
BUT WAIT... The real star of the show is the Sage Butter WALNUT Sauce...

Brown Butter, Sage and Walnut Pasta Sauce 
(Burro, salvia e salsa noci)

  • 1 Stick (8 TBS) Butter
  • 2 TBS Fresh cut Sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts (more if you Like (I do)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Garnish with additional Parmesan Cheese and fresh cut Basil (sliced into ribbons)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a LARGE Saute pan, melt the butter over medium high heat
  2. Add the walnuts and simmer for a few minutes until the butter just starts to brown
  3. Add the parmesan cheese, mix.
  4. Add the pasta, fresh out of the slated water so that they are still wet (It helps the pasta absorb the sauce), Carefully mix (be careful that you do not burst the filled ravioli).
  5. Serve HOT and ENJOY!!!
When done right, with the fresh pasta still a bit wet, the pasta absorbs the sauce.  The dish is served without pools of sauce, you get the walnuts and the sauced flavored ravioli on the plate... Perfect

I served this pasta along with the Broiled Orange Salmon I posted about earlier this week.  As a side dish, it worked wonderfully with the fish  In larger proportions, this could certainly be a meatless Monday Vegetarian meal.  The walnuts add plenty of "meaty" texture to the meal.

Enjoy indeed!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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