Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Walnuts and Sage

"Deliciously toasted brown butter with little bits of chopped walnuts and fried sage. Served with orecchiette, one of my favorite pasta shapes because of the tiny little indentations that are capable to catch so much sauce. There is something eternally satisfying and soothing about buttered pasta. We toss the warm orecchiette with nutty brown butter and golden toasted walnuts for an ultra-comforting meal that comes together in just minutes. We jazz it up with sage, garlic and chili flakes for a comforting dish that’s fancy enough for when friends pop over. And if you think that brown butter sauce is hard to make, it’s not, it’s absolutely fuzz-free. We cook it down over low heat until the milk solids in the butter caramelize into a nutty sweetness and create a sediment at the bottom of the pan, which in turn coats the pasta as tiny, nutty brown freckles that are seriously delicious. We add some olive oil and a splash of pasta cooking water, this way we use less butter."
-- @anna_s_table
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 5mins
Cook time 15mins
Serves or Makes: 2

Recipe Card


  • 10 1/5 ounces orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmesan, for serving


  • Step 1

    Boil the orecchiette in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

  • Step 2

    While the pasta is cooking, chop the walnuts and mince the garlic. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the butter, lower the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until butter foams, then starts to brown. Add olive oil, chopped walnuts and garlic, fry for 2 minutes. Then add chili flakes, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir in the sage leaves and cook for another minute. Add orecchiette together with a splash of the cooking water and toss with the butter sauce.

  • Step 3

    Divide the pasta between bowls. Serve with grated parmesan and extra chili flakes. Enjoy!

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