This week I met with my Italian teacher to reminisce about my travels and catch up on other life updates – including her recent engagement! By the time I got home from drinks and after all our talk about Bologna, I was craving tortellini. Luckily I brought back a small bag of meat filled tortellini with me from Bologna. Tortellini are so small and delicate, and the filling should be a burst of flavor in your mouth. I remembered Maribel’s suggestion to serve tortellini with a simple sage butter sauce rather then a tomato-based sauce because the acidity would overpower the filling. And as she promised, it turned out deliciously!
- 1/2 lb meat filled tortellini
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 TB unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 8 sage leaves
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Bring a medium pot of chicken broth and water to boil. Add a pinch of salt and the tortellini and cook for about 8 minutes, or until filling is cooked but pasta is slightly al dente. Reserve half a cup of the broth before draining the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt butter over a medium-low flame in a skillet. As butter melts, add shallots and continue to saute to prevent the butter from burning. Once the butter browns slightly, add sage leaves and saute for another minute. Add lemon juice and remove from heat.
Once pasta is cooked, add to skillet with sage butter and bring back up to medium heat. Add the reserved pasta broth and saute for a couple of minutes, or until some of the broth evaporates. Turn off heat and grate in the Pecorino. Stir to combine and serve immediately.
I loved the way this dish turned out. The addition of the chicken broth to the pasta water added an extra layer of flavor in the sauce, and as the pecorino melted into the pasta the sauce thickened. I loved getting a bit of a sage leaf in each bite, and wish I had added a couple more leaves when cooking the sauce.
I would pair this dish with an off-dry Chenin Blanc or a White Burgundy. It would also go well with a buttery Chardonnay, if that is your style. And of course, Prosecco! If you would rather serve a red wine try a Barbera, as it would go well with the assertive sage and shallots. Enjoy!