I bought some fresh sage a few days ago for a dish I wanted to cook... but sage is such a strong herb that you never need to use that much and now I have lots left over! Any good dinner ideas I can use to take advantage of the rest of the fresh sage?
- roasted butternut or kabocha squash soup
- pasta with pancetta, sage, and cream sauce or gnocchi with sage brown butter sauce
- homemade pizza topped with sage, caramelized onions, and Fontina cheese
- potatoes with sage & rosemary
This is one of my favorite vegetarian pastas. You *could* use canned cannellini but since there are so few ingredients and the beans are the major one, go for cooking dried beans and enjoy the firm texture and fresh not-over salted flavor of the real thing.
Rigatoni with White Beans and Tomatoes
Serving Size: 6
1 cup dried cannellini beans
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
20 leaves fresh sage
1 1/4 pound fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, juiced and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound rigatoni
Soak beans in cold water to cover for about 12 hours. Drain the beans and transfer them to a heavy saucepan. Add water to cover by about 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 1/2 hours.
When the beans have been cooking for about an hour, in a large, shallow saucepan heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and sage leave and sauté, stirring frequently, until the garlic is tanslucent, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the beans, cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until barely al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to the saucepan containing the beans. Raise the heat to medium and stir well to coat the pasta, about a minute. Arrange on a warm platter and serve at once with shards of Parmesan shaved off the block with a veggie peeler or a truffle plane.
We make another white bean dish with sage. It's pretty simple and can use a whole bunch of sage. In our house, it's called BooBoo Beans, for reasons that will remain a mystery.
It's simple enough, cook a bunch of white beans - we like baby white limas, but canneilinis or navy beans or whatever works is fine as well. To the beans we add a whole lot of carmelized onion - like 4-5 onions worth, and a whole lot of sage. Best way to do this is whole fried leaves. We don't bother with actually deep frying them, but just sear the leaves in a skillet with olive oil before adding to the beans. Salt and pepper to taste and you are done.
I have to say that the first time I heard about fried herbs I thought it was just toooo precious. But one day when I had the deep frier out I had fresh herbs nearby and put some in just to see.
It was *wonderful* what extracting all the moisture did to intensify the flavor and the crunch was just plain old fun. Now I'm a big fan!
I, too, am all about the fried sage. On anything. Beans, pasta, pork, grits, bruschetta...
Just crisp it up in a little oil until it's sort of translucent.
Would be lovely for topping cornbread or focaccia too!
You could even throw it in a grilled cheese sandwich for National Grilled Cheese month...
Sage is also lovely with roasted vegetables...try carrots and cauliflower, roast until really caramelized. Toss the sage in about halfway through, or fry and use as garnish?
Here is a similar recipe we made recently. I bought fresh sage specifically for this dish, then promptly forgot to add it as we were throwing it together. DUH! We also added pancetta. Sounds similar to your fettucine dish, Emmmmm..., so here is another tasty, springy variation. It was very delicious and quick to make (I know, so quick we forgot the sage, but still):