Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Browned-butter sage pesto with pepitas

Last week I splurged on two small bags of handmade pumpkin pasta, which I intended to use in some sort of post-Thanksgiving feast. It got lost, however, in my overstuffed refrigerator. When rediscovered, it was no longer the pale tender curls admired on day of purchase, but I was pretty confident it would improve if coated in a shiny glaze of brown-butter sage pesto with pepitas.

I was right. And it could not have been easier.

1 stick unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp fresh sage, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted; reserve 1 tbsp for garnish and chop the rest
1 lb fresh pumpkin pasta (or whatever you've got)

Cook pasta according to directions. Save about a cup of pasta water and set aside before draining.

While pasta cooks, melt butter in pan with heavy base on medium-low heat. Stir in sage and red pepper; simmer until it begins to turn amber. Add chopped pepitas and stir to combine. When the sauce turns an irresitible brown, add the drained pasta and a splash of reserved pasta water; blend thoroughly. Tongs are the perfect tool for this task. Add more pasta water if needed.

Transfer to serving bowl and top with a sprinkling of pepitas.

If you have leftovers, add a little reserved pasta water for improve reheating.

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