Fried Sage Leaves

December 1, 2009

Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
~Publilius Syrus

Fried sage. Rings like that series of ads in the late ’80s that depicted a sizzling fried egg and droned on: “this is your brain on drugs.”

This post seems simple to the point of naive, but the uses for fried sage are manifold and often forgotten: gracing appetizers…adorning pastas, rice, risotto, polenta, gnocchi, pizza, soups, fish, meats, poultry. They possess a fine textural finish. To me, even naked in a bowl as chip-like finger food is heaven enough.

FRIED SAGE

Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
30 or so whole sage leaves, cleaned and patted dry
Sea salt

Heat about 1″ of olive oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, and when small drops of water sizzle when sprinkled into the oil, add half the sage leaves (to assure decent spacing) and fry until just crisped, about 10-15 seconds. Gently remove them to paper towels to drain with a spider or slotted spoon. Do not let the leaves turn a deep brown. Fry the remaining sage leaves and sprinkle them all lightly with salt. They will crisp as they cool.

Pourboire: another version of fried sage entails first dipping them in whisked eggs, then lightly coating them in flour, shaking off the excess. Follow the remainder of the recipe.

FETTUCINE WITH MUSHROOMS, SAUSAGE & FRIED SAGE

24-30 fried sage leaves (see above)

2 C crimini mushrooms, roughly cut in thirds
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T unsalted butter

4 fine Italian sausages
Water and chicken stock
3 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 lb. fettuccine
Water
Sea salt

1 C heavy whipping cream
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Parmigiano-reggiano, grated

In a heavy skillet, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and butter until just softened. Set aside in a bowl.

In a different pan, simmer the sausages in equal parts of stock and water, covered, for about 10 minutes. Turn the sausages a few times. Remove them from the pan and allow to cool.

Slice the poached sausages into 1″+ chunks and sauté them in the oil until browned, adding the garlic toward the end so that it turns golden but not burned. Discard the garlic, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring water to a boil and salt generously. Then, cook the fettucine until al dente. Drain in a colander.

Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the cream and bring to a boil, scrape up cooking bits, and return the mushrooms and sausage to heat through. Toss in the fettucine to coat, turning gently with tongs and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with grated parmigiano-reggiano and fried sage leaves.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: