Brown butter and sage create a rich, complex sauce in just a few short steps for this simple pasta.
- 4–6 servings
- ACTIVE TIME
- 45 minutes
- TOTAL TIME
- 50 minutes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 14 large sage leaves
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or plain coarse breadcrumbs
- 2 medium delicata squash (about 1 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced crosswise into 1/4″-thick half-moons.
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces thick spaghetti or bucatini
- Thinly shaved Parmesan cheese
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns caramel-brown and smells nutty, 2–3 minutes. Add sage leaves and fry until crispy, 10–15 seconds. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sage to paper towels to drain. Pour all but 2 Tbsp. brown butter into a small bowl.
- Cook panko and 4 sage leaves in same skillet, stirring to break up sage, until mixture is toasty, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Cook squash and 3 Tbsp. brown butter in same skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until squash begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and 3/4 cup water; cover pan and cook until squash begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and squash is tender and caramelized, about 5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Add remaining 3 Tbsp. brown butter to skillet and stir until squash is evenly coated. Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and simmer until a thin sauce forms, about 1 minute; season with 1 tsp. pepper. Add pasta, tossing to coat and adding pasta cooking water as needed to coat pasta. Remove from heat, top with half of the reserved sage, and stir to combine.
- Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl or individual pasta bowls. Top with panko mixture, remaining sage, and a generous shaving of Parmesan.
If you can’t find delicata squash, substitute a medium-sized acorn squash (about 1 3/4 pounds).