Let’s be honest, this time of year gets a little bit insane. I love making holiday food and spending time with my kids, but things can get a bit hectic. This pasta with mushrooms, brown butter and sage is a super simple and is perfect for a night like tonight, when I am not up for cooking something more involved.
Anyone who has followed me for bit knows about my brown butter obsession. You can see my posts on Brown Butter Shortbread, Brown Butter Cookies with Sea Salt, and Pumpkin Bread with Salted Brown Butter Glaze if you’d like to try something sweet with brown butter. It is also great in savory dishes though, because it has a nutty flavor that does great with herbs.
This recipe could not be simpler, but there a few key points to making it great. Browning the mushrooms is one. In order to get really flavorful mushrooms with great texture, you want to cook off the liquid in them and brown them well. I do this by throwing them into a hot skillet with about 2 tbsp of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Let them sit a minute and then toss them occasionally until the liquid starts to come out. Leave the heat up high and let the liquid boil off. Then turn down to medium high and let them sit for a minute without stirring so they nicely brown. Do this carefully so they don’t get burnt.
Another key part is to get the sage nice and crisp. There is something so appetizing about the little shreds of fried sage on this dish. Make sure the butter is hot, and cook the sage until a little piece dropped onto a paper towel to drain has a crisp texture. A generous topping of shredded parmesan brings the dish together.
Pasta with Mushrooms, Brown Butter and Sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 lbs wild mushrooms or any kind of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 5-6 garlic cloves sliced
- 2/3 cup packed sage leaves thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups grated or shredded parmesan
- 1 lb pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and begin cooking the pasta.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat and add the mushroom slices and a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for a minute or two and then stir them occasionally until they release all their water. Continue cooking over high heat and once all the liquid is evaporated, lower to medium high and leave the mushrooms alone until browned on one side. Stir and allow to brown on the other side. Add the garlic slices and cook for another minute. Set aside.
- Add the butter to the empty skillet and allow to cook and foam until it starts to brown. Add the sage and fry it until it is crispy. Remove 1/2 the sage to use a garnish on top.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss. Add pasta water as needed to make it saucy. Add in the mushrooms and taste it and season with salt and pepper.
- Move to a serving bowl and top with fried sage and parmesan and black pepper.