Food + Drink, Pasta + Noodles, Vegetarian Recipes, Weeknight Dinners

30 Minute Garlic, Sage and Brown Butter Pasta

February 4, 2014

Garlic, Sage & Brown Butter Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for pasta. Something simple and flavorful. Before my first sips of coffee, I set a big pot on the stove to boil. The kitchen windows steamed against the grey, rainy mist outside. The pup scampered about as I looked through the pantry. Linguine. Garlic. Maybe some breadcrumbs? In the fridge I found butter, some herbs to use up. Parmesan. Definitely Parmesan.

The breadcrumbs toasted away in a big skillet. I stared at the remaining stick of butter. A brown butter sauce would be perfect…

Garlic, Sage & Brown Butter Pasta | Fork Knife SwoonGarlic, Sage & Brown Butter Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Brown butter is simply butter that is cooked beyond its melting point. As it cooks, the milk solids separate from the butterfat, and begin to brown. These golden little flecks give the butter a deep amber tone, and this transformation leads to a richer, nutty flavor.

It was settled. I set about making a quick brown butter sauce with lots of garlic and sage. A few minutes of whisking and it was ready, golden-flecked and gorgeous. I tossed the warm pasta with the brown butter, and topped it with the toasted breadcrumbs, herbs, a happy dusting of Parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for good measure. A simple, comforting dinner, perfect for a chilly Winter day cooped up inside… and all before 8 a.m.!

Garlic, Sage & Brown Butter Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

5.0 from 2 reviews
30 Minute Garlic, Sage and Brown Butter Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Yield: 2 - 4 Servings
  • 8 oz dry pasta (linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, etc.)
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • optional: dried red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, thyme and nutmeg, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Use a paper towel to wipe out the skillet (carefully!), and return the skillet to the burner. Add the remaining butter. When the butter melts and begins to foam, start whisking. Add the sage and garlic, and cook, whisking continuously, until the butter begins to bubble, and golden brown flecks begin to form in the bottom of the pan, about 5-8 minutes. When the butter looks just about ready (golden but not black), remove from the heat and continue whisking for another minute or so. If not using immediately for the pasta, transfer the butter to a different container, as the hot pan will continue the cooking process.
  4. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet, and stir to combine, being sure to evenly coat the pasta with the brown butter. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and divide among bowls. Serve warm.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Pasta in Sage Brown Butter and Walnuts | Allspice and Nutmeg March 31, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    […] Fork Knife Swoon  Two Peas and Their Pod Cooking Classy  Eat At Home Big Bears Wife […]

  • Reply Carol at Wild Goose Tea March 19, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I have never looked up this recipe before I am even fixing dinner despite the fact it’s after 7pm. I am a fool.
    Seriously delicious and seriously quick. It is these kinds of recipes that encourage people to eat at home more often, as families when that is the case. It’s amazing how tasty the crumbs make it look.

  • Reply Gretchen Pickart March 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Just made this for dinner and I added bacon (sans the nitrates). What a fabulous dinner! I was craving pasta on this cold day so this was just perfect. Thank you!!!

  • Reply One Bowl Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins - Fork Knife Swoon February 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    […] And these muffins! These aren’t really breakfast muffins in the traditional sense, although who am I, really, to preach about appropriate early morning choices after this post? […]

  • Reply Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes February 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    This is gorgeous! And pasta is one of my favorite meals – I’ll have to try this soon.

    • Reply Laura February 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Thank you, Jordan! I hope you do :)

  • Reply Lisa Bolton February 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    From one Bolton to another… =)

    Such a beautiful site! Came across your space via Foodie Crush and your work is stunning!

    Look forward to following your creations.

    • Reply Laura February 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

      oh yay! and an L. Bolton too! :)

  • Reply cheri February 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Oh my goodness this looks incredible, great pics!

    • Reply Laura February 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you so much, Cheri!!

  • Reply Gerry @ Foodness Gracious February 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Heidi sent me, and when Heidi sends me somewhere..I go :) Glad I did., Amazing pics and the food is amazing!

    • Reply Laura February 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad she did, and that you visited!! Thank you!

  • Reply DessertForTwo February 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    This is exactly what I want with a big bottle of red wine all to myself! Thanks for sharing. So inspiring, yet so simple for me to create, too!

    • Reply Laura February 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much! It really is a simple recipe – which is good when full bottles of wine are involved… ;)

  • Reply Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps February 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Brown butter pretty much rules my life, and so does pasta. The two together plus bread crumbs and parmesan is pretty much my idea of nirvana — and perfectly acceptable before 8am!

    • Reply Laura February 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      We are SO on the same page… :)

  • Reply Helen @ Scrummy Lane February 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    This sounds truly fabulous! I recently tried crisped-up breadcrumbs on top of a pasta dish and it really made it! I’m curious, though … did you actually eat your pasta dish before 8am??!

    • Reply Laura February 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you, Helen! I’m really loving the pasta/breadcrumbs thing lately too.

      And what happens before 8am… But seriously, I had a few bites and then it was dinner :)

  • Reply What Jessica Baked Next... February 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This looks absolutely divine- loving the fact it only takes 30 minutes to make! I could also eat pasta every day of the week and not even get bored- it’s so versatile! :)

    • Reply Laura February 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Jessica! :)

  • Reply Chris @ Shared Appetite February 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Brown butter makes everything better. And I absolutely love it with sage. Now I seem to have a serious hankering for pasta :)

    • Reply Laura February 5, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Indulge your hankering!! :) I could eat pasta every day, and be a very happy girl…

    Leave a Reply

    Rate this recipe: