Makes about 1 cup of sauce, enough for 1 pound of pasta
This is a delicious and simple sauce, but intense with sage flavor and is perfect for dressing gnocchi. It’s delicious even when just lightly drizzled over fresh grilled fish or poultry—a little is all you need. You can find this simple recipe mostly in the north of Italy, where fresh pasta prevails, but today even the Roman trattorie serve it.
- 1½ sticks of butter, or more to taste
- 10 fresh whole sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup hot water from the cooking pot of your pasta of choice
- 1 cup Grana Padano cheese, grated
Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat until melted and just foaming. Gently lay the sage leaves in the pan and heat until the leaves crisp up, about a minute.
Ladle in 1 cup boiling pasta water; stir the sauce and simmer for about 2 minutes and reduce liquid by half before adding pasta. Grind the black pepper directly into the sauce.
Keep the sauce hot over very low heat; return to a simmer just before adding pasta. Finish the cooked pasta by adding to the sauce. Remove from heat and toss in the cheese just before serving.