Fettuccine with Creamy Sage Sauce
Cream sauces go well with all kinds of pasta shapes, but I especially like how this sauce holds up to a hearty flat ribbon pasta. Ricotta salata is a smooth, firm, pure-white Italian sheep's milk cheese. Ricotta affumicata is a lightly smoked version of the same cheese. Both are available at specialty grocery stores, cheese shops, and Italian groceries. If you can't find them, increase the amount of parmigiano reggiano.
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 large, fresh sage leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. dried fettuccine
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
2 oz. ricotta salata, preferably smoked (ricotta affumicata), cut into thin shards with a vegetable peeler or on the side of a box grater
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add about 1 Tbs. salt. In a large skillet, combine the butter and sage. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted. Add the cream and stock and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat but keep it warm.
Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine until al dente, 10 to 12 min. With tongs, lift the pasta from the pot, let it drain for a moment over the boiling water, and then add it to the sauce in the skillet. (Alternatively, drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the sauce.) Cook gently on low for a few minutes for the pasta to absorb the sauce. Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in the grated cheese, and season amply with pepper. Serve in warmed bowls topped with the shaved ricotta.
nutrition information (per serving):
per appetizer portion;
Photo: Judi Rutz