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Rachael Ray's Brown Butter, Sage & Sausage Casarecce
This recipe is deceptively simple and insanely rich. For an entrée, serve with sautéed dark greens or an escarole salad.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup white wine or chicken stock
1 lb. casarecce pasta or other short-cut pasta
6 tbsp. butter
18 to 20 fresh sage leaves
1 ½ cups fresh ricotta
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
White pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg (no more than 1/8 tsp. each)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the sausage. Cook, occasionally stirring and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the wine. Reduce heat to low. Let simmer while the pasta cooks.
Salt the boiling water; add the pasta. Cook until 1 to 2 minutes shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a paper towel. Remove the skillet from heat. Reserve the brown butter.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parm, and parsley. Season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir the pasta, cooking water, sausage, and browned butter into the cheeses. Transfer to a platter or divide among shallow bowls. Top with the fried sage.