Orzo with Brown Butter and Sage Sauce

Fresh sage in the garden? We planted sage early this spring in our new container garden, along with basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender and parsley. Everything is growing like weeds, and we are having fun cooking with them.  For dinner last night, we roasted a chicken on high heat (400F) for two hours, using rosemary, thyme and extra-virgin olive oil.  It fell succulently off the bone, and the herbs were amazingly crispy and a perfect accompaniment to the chicken.

Tonight ... leftovers.  We decided to dress up one of our favorite pastas -- orzo -- and prepare it with a sage/brown butter sauce (noisette au beurre), mixed with heaping portion of freshly-grated Parmigianno Reggiano.

You can serve this flavorful side dish with chicken, pork, grilled fish, or just a big radicchio and romaine salad. Best of all, it takes only 10 minutes to make. Kids love it -- it's pasta, after all -- and the adults in your household will go back for seconds.

10-15 fresh sage leaves, bruised slightly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. (1 stick) butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigianno Reggiano cheese
2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 c. orzo pasta
6 c. water to boil

1. Boil 6 cups water and add 1/2 tsp salt. and orzo. Boil for 10 minutes or until al dente.
2. While orzo is boiling, melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic, and sauté gently until butter is browned but not burned.
2. Add sage leaves, sauté until wilted, and stir in lemon juice and parmesan cheese.
3. Drain orzo, turn into a heated casserole, and pour sauce over all. Serves 4.

Orzo with beurre noisette and sage sauce served with roasted chicken

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