Sage butter sauce: the only reason why I haven’t given up on pasta (and life) yet. It’s a simple but delicious sauce that can take any pasta dish from bland to amazing in minutes with just butter, sage, and optional garlic or lemon juice.
If you love pasta as much as I do, you know that sometimes it can get boring to eat the same old tomato or cream sauces over and over again. That’s why I love experimenting with different flavors and ingredients to spice up my pasta dishes. And one of my favorite discoveries is sage butter sauce.
Sage is an aromatic herb that has been used for centuries for its culinary and medicinal purposes. It has a slightly bitter and peppery taste that complements the richness and sweetness of butter perfectly. Sage also has many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving memory, and fighting infections.
I first tried sage butter sauce when I was visiting Italy with my family a few years ago. We went to this cozy restaurant in Rome that served homemade pasta with various sauces. I ordered ravioli with sage butter sauce without knowing what to expect. And boy, was I blown away by the flavor! The ravioli was stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese and spinach, and the sauce was light but decadent, with crispy sage leaves adding a nice crunch. It was one of the best meals I ever had, and I knew I had to recreate it at home.
As Julia Child once said, “With enough butter, anything is good.” And when you add fresh sage leaves to the butter, you get a rich, nutty, and fragrant sauce that pairs perfectly with all kinds of pasta.
Want to know how to make the most delicious pasta sauce ever? Read on and discover the magic of sage butter sauce!
- Unsalted butter – The base of the sauce, it allows for control over the salt level and results in a richer, creamier texture.
- Fresh sage leaves – Earthy and slightly bitter flavor that pairs perfectly with the butter. A classic herb in French and American cuisine, you can also use thyme or basil for a different flavor.
- Garlic – Adds a delicious bite to the sauce, pairs well with the butter and sage. A staple ingredient in most savory dishes, known for its health benefits. You can mince it for a pronounced garlicky flavor or chop it finely for a subtle aroma.
- First, grab a skillet and melt your butter over medium heat. Once it’s melted and starting to bubble slightly, throw in a minced garlic clove and give it a stir for about a minute. Then, add in some chopped fresh sage leaves and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes more. Keep a close eye on the butter while it’s cooking and make sure to stir constantly, so it doesn’t burn. You’ll know it’s ready when it turns a light brown color and starts to give off a delicious aroma.
- As soon as the butter starts to brown, pull it off the heat and serve. This sauce is perfect for pasta, fish, chicken, or any other dish that could use a flavorful boost.
- If fresh sage leaves are not available, you can use dried sage leaves, for the same quantity of dried sage leaves use about 1 tsp. The same goes for the garlic. If you don’t have any fresh cloves on hand, use 1 tsp of dried minced garlic.
- Rather than melting the whole stick of butter in the pan, cut the butter into pieces first and melt it that way. If you add the whole stick to the pan, it will melt unevenly and some parts may brown before others.
- Make sure to pull the butter from the heat as soon as it starts to brown. You don’t want to overcook the sauce. It is easy to burn brown butter sauce, so keep a close watch and don’t step away from the pan.
Serving Suggestions for Sage Butter Sauce!
This sauce is perfect for anyone looking to add a rich and nutty flavor to their dishes. Whether you’re a fan of American or French cuisine, this sauce is sure to impress. Here are some serving suggestions to get you started:
- Pour it over some perfectly cooked pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for crusty bread. You won’t regret it!
- Spoon it over roasted vegetables like asparagus, carrots, or Brussels sprouts.
- Make a delicious pan-fried salmon by brushing the sauce over the fish before cooking.
- Stir it into risotto for a creamy and flavorful dish.
- Brush it over grilled meats like chicken or steak for a touch of sophistication.
How long does it take to make the Sage Butter Sauce?
This recipe only takes 5 minutes! So it’s a quick and easy sauce to whip up whenever you need it.
Can I use other herbs in the Sage Butter Sauce?
Sure thing! Feel free to experiment with other herbs like basil or thyme for a unique twist on this recipe.
Can I use salted butter in this recipe instead of unsalted?
While unsalted butter is called for in the recipe, you can certainly use salted butter if that’s all you have on hand. Just keep in mind that it may affect the overall flavor and salt content of the sauce.
Can I make a larger or smaller batch of the Sage Butter Sauce?
Of course! This recipe makes 1 cup of sauce, but you can adjust the amount of butter, sage, and garlic to make more or less depending on your needs.
Can I burn the Sage Butter Sauce?
Definitely possible! Keep an eye on it while it’s cooking, and pull it off the heat as soon as it starts to brown. Overcooking the sauce can give it a burnt taste, so stir it constantly and don’t step away from the pan.
Sage Butter Sauce
- Wooden spoon
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir the butter occasionally until it starts to foam and become slightly brown in color, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped sage, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the skillet and stir well. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the sage is fragrant and the butter is lightly browned.
- Remove the skillet from heat and immediately pour the sauce into a serving bowl. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Make sure to constantly stir the butter to prevent burning.
The sauce will solidify as it cools, but will become liquid again when re-heated.
Experiment with different herbs and seasonings to add your own unique twist to this sauce.