Sage Advice: Let the kids help with herb prep

While our kids have more ethnic, rustic, regional, foodie food at their disposal than we did, on a harried tuesday in the middle of the week, it can still come down to one thing: the quality of the pre-prepared ravioli at their disposal. In a mere ten years it’s gone from being a frost bitten afterthought to a thing of quality. Pre-prepared ravioli is a wonder of the modern grocery store: easy to cook, fairly healthy, and the perfect canvas for easy sauces. Sometimes even stuffed with wild mushrooms, asiago, what have you. And nothing illustrates the brilliant, simple appeal of two, well chosen ingredients better than the classic Italian pasta sauce of butter and sage. And it’s a sauce the kids can help make.

Ravioli With Brown Butter, Sage, and Parmesan
Okay. Butter. I know. But if you’re not feeding your kid junk food every other day of the week, a little butter sage sauce every two weeks is perfectly fine. Here’s a fun way of getting them to help out with the prep.

first: boil some water and cook that ravioli you bought

Meanwhile take:
a bunch of sage
a half stick of butter

Let the kids tear the sage up as small as they can
let the kids cut the butter up with a dull knife, again, as small as they can

Now you take over (and keep the kids away from the hot pan, with its handle turned in for safety): melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, let it foam. When the foam subsides and the butter starts turning a pale pale brown, throw in the sage leaves and let them simmer a bit. Cook until the butter’s nutty brown then remove from heat. If you’re kids can stand spice, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Grate up some parmesan.

Drain your ravioli, plate it, and spoon over butter sage sauce with those lovingly torn, rustic little pieces of herb. Then toss that parm all over it and serve. Health food? No. Perfection? Yes.

—Hugh

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One Response to Sage Advice: Let the kids help with herb prep

  1. Yes — it’s a wonderful recipe. Depending on how brown the butter gets, you might want to strain it (the butter sauce is fully infused with the sage flavor).
    Children can be involved in growing the sage, too!

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