Pappardelle with Chicken, Walnuts, & Sage

Yesterday I woke up in the dark and cursed Daylight Savings Time. For the past few weeks, I’ve finally been able to drive to work sans headlights and watch the sun rise, but this weekend I lost an hour of sleep and a little bit of early morning joy. 

BUT (and this is a good but) in the afternoon I drove home with my windows down, went to the grocery store, watched an episode of Friends, and still had time to make and eat this pasta before the sun went down. The lemon-sage sauce in this dish is so good, and I love the slight crunch from the toasted walnuts. Sage is a winter herb, but the lemon reminds me of spring, making this perfect for weeknights in March. 

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I can’t believe that two weeks ago I was posting about subzero temperatures in Chicago. This morning was foggy and (relatively) warm and the snow covering our parking spot is finally melting. I think I can officially say that I made it through my first winter as a social worker, and I’m looking forward to a lovely spring.

Look! Even Ned Stark is excited for spring (that’s a smile, right?) 

Pappardelle with Chicken, Walnuts, & Sage
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves, shredded
Zest of one lemon, grated
3 tablespoons heavy cream
8 oz pappardelle (this also goes well with tagliatelle or taglioni)
1 lb cooked chicken, cut into cubes
1 cup shaved Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. (At this point, I also salt and peppered my chicken and baked it in a separate pan in the oven). Set aside to cool.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sage and fry for around two minutes, or until the butter starts to brown. Add the lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and heavy cream. Stir and cook for a few seconds only, then remove from heat immediately. Set aside.
3. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente (8-10 minutes or according to package directions). Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and place in a large bowl. Add the chicken. 
4. Warm the sauce, adding a few tablespoons of cooking liquid to think, and add to pasta. Toss in the walnuts, parmesan, and parsley. Enjoy right away! 

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Adapted from here.  

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