Pasta Party: Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter

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Photo by Howard Lee Puckett
Pictured: Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter

Serves 8 (about $.70 per serving)

This rich gnocchi is unusual enough to feel like a treat, and universal enough to instantly taste like comfort food.

• 8 medium russet potatoes (about 4 pounds)
• Pinch of salt
• 2 to 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 quarts water
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• Sage Browned Butter (below)
• Fresh sage leaves, for garnish

1. Boil unpeeled potatoes in salted water until fork-tender; drain. Peel potatoes, discarding skins.

2. Press through a ricer and into a large bowl. Add flour, eggs and salt. 

3. Mix until you have a pliable ball of dough. Dust work area with flour. Knead dough for a few minutes.

4. Cut a ½-inch slice of dough and roll it out with your hands until you have a roll about the thickness of your thumb. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Cut rolls into 1-inch-long pieces. Hold a floured fork with the curved part facing the work surface. Use your finger to press a piece of dough gently against the fork and roll it slightly, letting it fall to the work surface. The result should be gnocchi with an indent on one side from your finger and a pattern from the fork on the other.

6. Handling carefully, place gnocchi on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Keep them from touching so they don’t stick together.

7. Prepare Sage Browned Butter.

8. Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven.

9. Drop 10 to 12 gnocchi at a time into water; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until they float to the surface.

10. Remove with a slotted spoon, draining as much water as possible.

11. Place gnocchi in a serving dish and drizzle with Sage Browned Butter. Repeat procedure, layering the batches in the dish.

Sage Browned Butter 

• 1⁄2 cup butter
• 1⁄4 cup chopped sage leaves

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  2 Add sage and cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or just until butter begins to turn golden-brown. Remove from heat.

Donna Frawley, owner of Frawley’s Fine Herbary (, has written two cookbooks: The Herbal Breads Cookbook (Frawley’s Fine Herbary, 1994) and The Edible Flowers Book (Frawley’s Fine Herbary, 2004).

Click here for the main article, Pasta Party: Make Homemade Pasta.

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