Making brown butter is an easy and useful technique to learn and here we’ve combined it with fresh sage, walnuts and whole wheat penne to make a simple yet elegant pasta dish that’s perfect for weeknight dinner or a casual company meal.
Cook the penne in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain, return to the pan and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Toss until melted, cover to keep warm and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until it begins to foam. Quickly add the walnuts and sage and stir to combine.
Continue stirring and as soon as the butter develops a toasty brown color, add it to the pasta and toss to coat. Watch the butter carefully as it browns and don’t leave it unattended as it can burn very easily.
Return the frying pan to the stove over medium heat and add the last 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chicken and sauté until light golden on all sides and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the chicken broth and parsley, cook for 1 minute, then add the pasta to the pan. Combine well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
To serve, plate individual servings, topping each with a bit of ground nutmeg.