It seems like a lot of people stress too much about what to eat during the week and a lot of the literature out there makes weeknight dinners way more complicated than they need to be. What would you think if we told you that you could make an almost Michelin-star quality weeknight meal in under 15 minutes? Read on….
In our experience, Italians are masters of using what they have on hand to come up with deceptively simple and economical meals. They also pick their battles. For example, you don’t see tons of Italian dessert recipes, because most Italians think that the bakery down the street can make a better pastry than they can, so they just buy the pastry instead of worrying about how to make it at home.
Same goes for pasta. Unless you have a professional grade pasta extruder at home, you’re really better off buying high-quality dried pasta. And unless you have $10,000 and half a room to spare for a ravioli stuffer, or a motorized Imperia Pasta Roller and all afternoon, you’re better off leaving stuffed pasta to the pros as well.
Clayton got home from work very late one night last week, and we happened to have on hand some amazing fresh ravioli stuffed with asparagus, ricotta, and Meyer lemon from the grocery store. One of his favorite pasta dishes we’ve ever had was a spring pea agnolotti in a butter sauce, with black truffles from SPQR. We took inspiration from this dish and made a quick butter sauce.
This butter sauce is called burro fuso in Italian or buerre monte in French, but it’s the same thing. According to Food & Wine, The French Laundry makes it with 20 pounds of butter at a time. It’s essentially warmed butter emulsified in a tiny bit of water, or in other words, one of the most delicious things ever. We’ve heard that they use a proprietary butter from Vermont. We like to use nicer butters for sauce like this, this, and this.
To make your 15-minute Michelin-starred dinner, all you need is a pan for boiling fresh stuffed pasta that you purchased, and a small saucepan and whisk. Put a tablespoon or two of water in the pan and heat the pan until the water begins to boil. Add a tablespoon of butter at a time, whisking constantly, until you have the amount of sauce you need. It should be light yellow and almost opaque.
You could stress about the ratios and making the perfect butter sauce, but you don’t need to. The key is to keep stirring and to keep the heat gentle so butter does not boil. Fresh pasta cooks so quickly, you can have this on the table in 15 minutes. Just drop the pasta in the boiling water, cook 2-3 minutes, and toss it in the burro fuso. Find a delicious bottle of wine and enjoy!
- Fresh pasta
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 4 ounces of butter
- Warm a saucepan over medium heat and add the tablespoon of water. When it begins to boil, add butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. Wait until the previous addition of butter is fully melted and incorporated to add the next. Reduce the heat if necessary to ensure that the butter does not boil. Keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions in heavily salted water. When the pasta is finished, toss it with the burro fuso and serve immediately.