Summer Sage

There is rarely an indifference to this pungent, earthy and strangely aromatic herb. You either love sage or you don't.
I happen to really like sage. It is hearty and resiliant in the garden, which makes it a great herb to grow and use nearly year-round, depending where you live. You can plant a pot or a small plot and it will multiply quickly and requires little maintenance.
I love the typical combinations, such as with potatoes or apples.
You can saute fresh sage with onions and pancetta or smoked bacon and make a wonderful base for stewed cabbage or caramelized apples. You can dry sage leaves in a 225 degree oven until crisp, then crumble them up in Maldon sea salt and have a wonderful aromatic salt for grilling, sauting and roasting pork and poultry. You can fry sage leaves in butter until it is a glistening golden , nutty brown and serve over ricotta stuffed ravioli {my personal favorite!} or ladle it over a bowl of fingerling potatoes or mix it with fresh cream and layer it with slices of yukon gold potatoes in a gratin dish with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Fall is just around the corner, so I thought I would look ahead, stock the pantry and get ready to make my favorite recipe when the season rolls around. It will be here before we know it!


1 recipe pasta dough sheets, made from scratch or use fresh pasta sheets from your local specialty food market.
You can also find wonderful pre-made ravioli or tortellini. If you can't find pumpkin, try another flavor such as fresh ricotta and spinach.

Pasta filling:
1 cup Bella Cucina Sweet Pumpkin Pesto
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 oz. pancetta slices
8 tbs. unsalted butter
15-20 fresh sage leaves, long stems removed
Parmesan cheese

Roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets or lay one pre-rolled sheet on floured counter and brush lightly with egg yolk. Place one tablespoon every 3 inches in center of dough. Place another sheet on top of stuffed sheet and press around edges where stuffing is to remove any air bubbles. Cut into squares with knife or pasta wheel, leaving a nice edge of pasta around filling. Place on semolina lined sheet pan to prevent sticking. If not using immediately, place in freezer.

To cook ravioli, heat 4 quarts boiling salted water. Add ravioli gently by hand, avoid adding the semolina. Cook until al dente or until ravioli float to top (about 3-5 minutes depending on if ravioli are fresh or frozen). Taste for doneness.(not a problem!)

Meanwhile, cut pancetta into pieces and saute until crisp. Remove pan and drain on paper towels. Heat butter in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and cook until leaves are crisp and butter is nutty brown. Do not overcook butter, as it will cook quickly and may easily burn. Remove from heat and pour over cooked ravioli.

Serves 4 (16 large ravioli).
Buon appetito!

alisa Barry copyright 2007

No comments: