Penne With Butter, Sage, and Parmesan

Makes 4-6 servings.

  • 16 ounces penne (or other cut pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it. Cook the pasta until it is tender but just short of the point at which you want to eat it.

Meanwhile, place the butter and olive oil in a skillet or saucepan large enough to hold the cooked pasta; turn the heat to medium, and add the sage. Cook until the butter and oil begin to brown and the sage shrivels. Turn the heat down to low. When the pasta is almost done, scoop out a cupful of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta, immediately add it to the sage mixture, and raise the heat to medium. Add 1⁄2 cup of the reserved water, and stir. Cook for about 30 seconds or until some of the water is absorbed and the pasta is perfectly done. Next, stir in the cheese until the sauce becomes creamy. Thin it with a little more water if necessary. Season liberally with pepper, and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

This recipe by Erica Derr originally appeared in the August 2007 issue of Our State magazine.

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.