Sage leaves frying in a pan of olive oil is one of the best smells in the WORLD.
Batter frying them is so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before! They are a perfect addition to anything with butternut squash or pumpkin, but they can also stand alone.
I’m just going to warn you, fried sage leaves taste so incredible you’re going to be sad if you don’t make more than this recipe calls for, and you’re going to want to eat them before your pasta’s ready. I highly suggest making some extra to snack on.
I was so excited to make butternut squash pasta when the winter squashes started arriving in stores. Luckily they can sit on your counter for weeks and still be in great condition, because life has been so busy in November that I haven’t had many chances to cook or post.
I saw an amazing looking recipe in a magazine for butternut squash pasta made with bacon, but I wanted to keep this one healthy, vegan, and as simple as possible. I combined a few different recipes to get what I wanted, plus added my own touch.
One of my favorite pasta dishes in the world is Il Fornaio’s Walnut Butternut Squash Ravioli. They pour on a brown butter and tomato sauce and add battered sage leaves. I wanted to replicate this without the added process of making fresh pasta–I groan at complicated recipes–and of course, I needed to make this dairy free. Instead of cream and tomato for that acidic touch, I used Moscato. It pairs perfectly with this pasta dish.
So here it is, a restaurant worthy dish made simple, healthy, and vegan. The recipe makes four servings of pasta, but you can easily double it for a family or dinner party. Just use the whole squash, the whole onion, a pound of pasta, an 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, and double everything else.
- 1/2 butternut squash
- 1/4 cup sweet white wine
- 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 lb pasta (I used gemelli)
- dash nutmeg
- 1/2 cup crumbled walnuts**
- Parmigiano reggiano*
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise, carefully. Scoop out seeds. Pour 1/4 cup water into a large glass casserole dish. Add squash to dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until squash is soft enough to be pierced with a fork.
- While the squash is baking, fry batter dipped sage leaves in oil.
- When squash is tender, allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start to cook pasta according to directions.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook yellow onion in Smart Balance for 10 minutes or until translucent and beginning to brown.
- Scoop preferred amount of cooled squash from the skin and place into blender.
- Puree with 1/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Moscato, but don't over process to leave some texture.
- Add butternut squash puree to the saucepan of onions, along with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-10minutes, until heated through. Wine or broth can be added to make a thinner consistency if needed.
- Add cooked, drained pasta to the saucepan and toss in butternut squash sauce until evenly coated.
- To serve, sprinkle with crumbled walnuts,* parmigiano reggiano,**and top with fried sage leaves.
- This recipe is halved for the convenience of cooking for two. If you are cooking for a family, it's very easy to double. Use the whole squash, the whole onion, and 1 lb. of pasta.
- **To crumble place in Ziploc bag and run over with rolling pin.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 10-15 big sage leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying
- sea salt
- Wash the leaves and dry them on a paper towel.
- Whisk the water and flour together until the batter becomes smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat (not too hot or it will burn). Dip the leaves in the batter and let the extra batter drip off.
- Fry the sage leaves about 1 minute each side until crispy and a light golden color.
- Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle them with a dash of sea salt.