What do you do for self care? I think most people avoid cooking themselves a good meal as part of their self care routine because it sounds like a lot of work, but recipes like these Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce are an incredibly fast and easy way to do something special for yourself. It’s an elegant restaurant-quality meal, without the huge bill at the end. ;) So turn off that phone, light a candle, pour yourself a glass of white wine, sit down to this fancy-pants ravioli, and just enjoy the moment. 💆♀️
And since this makes two servings, it also makes a great date night meal. ;)
What’s Up with Brown Butter?
It’s pretty much the best thing ever in the entire universe. Brown butter is what happens when you cook butter long enough to make the butter solids get all toasty and delicious, but not so long that they burn. You can use brown butter in baked goods, sauces, and just about anything to give your recipe a nutty-sweet flavor. For more information about this liquid gold, check out my tutorial on How to Make Brown Butter.
Brown Butter Sage Sauce is Magic
Okay, so now you know how incredible brown butter is, let me just sing the praises of this super simple brown butter sage sauce. This incredibly simple yet elegant sauce is rich, nutty, herbaceous, and not too heavy. It’s the perfect way to lightly dress the ravioli in flavor and moisture and it perfectly balances the subtle sweetness of the ravioli filling. Once you make this brown butter sage sauce you’ll start to think of all the other foods you could drizzle it over. Pour it over baked sweet potatoes, gnocchi, wild rice pilaf, or pork chops.
I used an awesome butternut squash ravioli (from Aldi) for this recipe, but you could use any regular cheese ravioli, or even something like gnocchi. Squash or pumpkin flavors go especially well with the brown butter and walnuts, but if you can’t get your hands on that, regular cheese flavors are also great.
Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce
- 9 oz. ravioli* ($2.89)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped ($0.57)
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.52)
- 1/2 tsp dried sage ($0.05)
- 1/4 lb. fresh spinach ($0.60)
- salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan ($0.11)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil for the ravioli. Once boiling, add the ravioli and cook until tender (check package for specific cooking times, as this can vary with the ravioli size or whether it is fresh or dried). Once cooked, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the ravioli in a colander.
- While the ravioli is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Mince the garlic and chop the walnuts before you begin the sage brown butter sauce, since the sauce cooks very quickly.
- Add the butter to a large skillet and melt it over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Once the butter begins to sizzle and becomes foamy (about 2-3 minutes), add the minced garlic and chopped walnuts. Continue to stir and cook over medium-low heat until the sediment in the skillet turns deep golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). Once it becomes browned, remove it from the heat, and stir in the dried sage.
- Add the spinach and the 1/4 cup reserved ravioli cooking water to the skillet. Return the skillet to low heat, and stir until the spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes). Taste the spinach and add salt to taste. Finally, add the cooked and drained ravioli to the skillet with the spinach and sage brown butter sauce, then toss to coat.
- Serve the ravioli with a light dusting of grated Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper over top.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce – Step by Step Photos
This is the ravioli I used, which is a seasonal product from Aldi. As mentioned above, you can use regular cheese ravioli, or even gnocchi for this dish. 9 oz. is kind of a weird package size, but you could use anywhere from 8-10 oz. of ravioli or gnocchi for this amount of sage brown butter sauce. Start boiling a pot of water for the ravioli first. Once boiling, add the ravioli and cook according to the package directions (only about 3 minutes for this fresh ravioli). Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the ravioli in a colander.
While waiting for the water to boil and the ravioli to cook, you can prepare the rest of the dish. Prep the ingredients for the sage brown butter sauce before you begin melting the butter because the sauce cooks quickly, so you don’t want to be double-tasking. Mince a clove of garlic, and chop 1/4 cup walnuts.
First add 4 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and melt it over medium-low heat. Wait for the butter to begin sizzling and for it to get a bit foamy on top (about 2-3 minutes), then add the chopped walnuts and minced garlic.
Continue to stir and cook the butter, walnuts, and garlic over medium-low until the sediment turns a deep golden brown like in the photo above (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat (it will continue browning with the residual heat of the skillet, so it’s important to take it off the burner to slow this down).
Finally, stir in 1/2 tsp dried sage.
I should have gotten two separate photos here, so sorry. First add the 1/4 lb. spinach and the reserved 1/4 cup cooking water to the skillet, return the skillet to low heat, and stir until the spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes). Taste the spinach and add a pinch or two of salt, if needed. Finally, add the ravioli and toss to coat in the sage brown butter sauce.
Sprinkle a little bit of grated Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper over top just before serving.
I made this for the first time about a month ago and I either left out the pasta water or only put in a couple drops, and it ended up SO stinkin’ delicious, my mind was blown. Just now, however, I made it with just about the amount of pasta water the recipe calls for (still a teeny bit less, actually) and the flavor is completely bland and (naturally) watered down. I would just suggest to leave out the pasta water or only add a couple tablespoons of it absolute max. Otherwise, DELICIOUS!
Hi, Rebecca! I’m sorry you weren’t pleased with the results this time. I’m wondering, did you add the same amount of salt to the pasta water this time as you did last time? Using unsalted or very lightly-salted pasta water will still help thicken the sauce, but without enough seasoning, it could lead to a less flavorful dish. Next time, I’d suggest still adding the pasta water, but making sure it’s salted “like the sea.” However, if you are concerned about sodium levels, you may be able to omit the pasta water and still have successful results as you suggested. I hope that helps! ~ Marion :)
This is one of my new go tos for meatless Monday! Trader Joe’s always has a great selection of ravioli, and it comes together so quickly after a stressful day. Thank you for this. I’ve loved all of your recipes so far!
Thank you so much for this site! Everything that I have tried has been delicious (and cost effective). This meal was super easy and quick to put together and I find cooking to be a little intimidating.
So glad you found us, Alli! XOXO -Monti