Aired October 16, 2012
1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons), or more to taste
10 whole fresh sage leaves
1 cup hot water from the pot of your pasta of choice
1 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Bring 4 to 5 quarts of salted water to a boil and add the fettuccine; stir periodically.
While fettuccine cooks, melt the butter in a saut pan over medium heat until just foaming. Gently lay the sage in the pan and heat until the leaves crisp up, about a minute.
Ladle in 1 cup boiling pasta water; stir the sauce, and simmer for about 2 minutes, reducing liquid by half. Grind the black pepper directly into the sauce.
Keep the sauce hot over very low heat; return to a simmer, and immediately add cooked pasta to the sauce. Toss with the sauce, then remove from heat, and sprinkle with cheese just before serving.