Friday, July 1, 2011
Bacon Sage Pasta Sauce
Our sage this year is spectacular. Mom didn't/doesn't care for sage so we never had it growing up. On occasion, I've gotten sausage that's had a bunch of sage in it and have found it overwhelming. But, I've found that I really love fried sage. And, as long as the flavor plays well with the other ingredients, I enjoy fresh sage.
This recipe came about because I had zucchini to use up AND I looked over at the sage in the herb garden on my way out of the driveway a couple of mornings ago. Hmm, how could I combine the two. I brainstormed the whole way to the office. Got to the office and wrote down the recipe. I knew it'd be perfect for one of those evenings I didn't get home til 7:30 or 8:00. And, it was. I didn't measure as I went so most of the measurements are guesstimates. But, my guess is this is a very forgiving dish and will taste just fine if you change things up a bit.
Bacon Sage Pasta Sauce
2 T olive oil
3 T butter
36 fresh sage leaves
6 slices bacon
2/3 c white wine
4 cloves garlic
1 large zucchini or 2 small
1/2 lb pasta with ridges like campanelle
1/2 c coarsely grated parmesan reggiano
Gently heat about 12 sage leaves in the olive oil.
You just want to infuse the olive oil with sage flavor - not fry these sage leaves. Dice the bacon and brown it in a large skillet.
Just as it's starting to get brown, add about two dozen sage leaves.
These you want to fry til they're really crispy. It won't take long. They'll be really crispy about the time the bacon is good and crisp. Take the leaves out very carefully and drain them on a paper towel.
Then, do the same to the bacon.
Start your pasta water. Put the chopped zucchini into the bacon grease - or if you're well behaved you'll wipe out the bacon grease and put in some olive oil... Saute the zucchini until it's softened.
While it's sauteeing, remove the sage leaves from the olive oil. Discard them. Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic. Stir for about a minute until it's very fragrant. Pour in the white wine.
Allow the liquid to reduce a bit. While the liquid is reducing, cook your pasta to al dente. Add in the butter to the wine sauce. Now, it's time to combine everything and serve.