Gnocchi with Browned Butter & Crispy Sage Leaves.

Nutty browned butter and crispy fried sage leaves make this gnocchi dinner the perfect fall fare. On a weekday just use fresh store bought gnocchi and you have a 15 minute meal that’s DELICIOUS. If it’s a blustery weekend and you’re feeling all nest-y you can make the gnocchi from scratch .

Raise your hand if you love potatoes!  Everyone else get the hell out of here.   Potatoes are the most versatile vegetable on the planet according to a recent study by me.

Mashed, whipped, baked, au gratin, roasted, boiled, pancaked, fried, shredded … there’s NOTHING you can’t do with the fluffy goodness of a hot potato.  For the love of God, it can even warm the hands of a homeless person on a cold winter’s night, which makes the potato not only versatile, but altruistic.  If one vegetable had to be appointed the Jesus of vegetables, it would be the potato.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that potatoes can also answer your prayers for a quick and easy homemade pasta.  Potatoes make one of the most delicious pasta dishes on the planet.

Gnocchi is a potato based pasta that is THE best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.  Unless you’re considering potato pancakes for that role, in which case that is the best way to use up mashed potatoes. They’re both the best.

I know you’re wondering how in the world someone would have leftover mashed potatoes, and that’s a perfectly reasonable question.  I always have leftover mashed potatoes because I make too many mashed potatoes on purpose so I can turn them into gnocchi or potato pancakes.

A Quick Gnocchi Lesson

To make Gnocchi all you do is use a ratio of 1:1:1  (1 lb potato, 1 egg yolk, 1 cup flour)  That’s just a basic guideline. The truth is making gnocchi is more about getting a feel for it than an exact recipe.

That’s because so much of the gnocchi depends on the type of potato you’re using, how old it is (older potatoes are drier), how you cooked it and even how humid it is out. You might prefer gnocchi with more bite to it, or softer pillow gnocchi.

 If you need more flour to make it feel like a dough, you add more flour.  If your potatoes are already easily forming a dough, use less flour. No big whoop.

Here’s my post on how to make Gnocchi from scratch, it’s really easy.  

But if you don’t want to make it from scratch, that’s fine, just use store bought gnocchi for this recipe, The browned butter with crispy fried sage leaves will make up for any loss of delight from using store bought.


How do you cook gnocchi?

Boil gnocchi until it floats to the top of the water and then for extra flavour pan fry it to finish it.

Do you have to knead it like bread dough?

You really just need to bring the gnocchi dough together, not knead it like a traditional bread duogh. If you overwork or knead this dough it’ll become gluey from activating the gluten.

Basic gnocchi ratios

1 lb potatoes / 1 egg yolk / 1 cup flour

is the same as

2 cups mashed potatoes / 1 egg yolk / 1 cup flour = 4 servings

Normally when I’m in the mood for Gnocchi I’m in the mood for Gnocchi with red sauce.  Or “gravy” as my Italian friends call it.  And by Italian friends I mean Tony Soprano.  But every once in a while my taste buds scream out for Gnocchi with browned butter and crispy fried sage leaves. Soooo good.

You have to try it.


A supremely delicious way to use up mashed potatoes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 1.5 lbs of gnocchi homemade or store bought
  • 8 Tbsp salted butter
  • Handful of sage leaves at least 20
  • Shaved parmesan cheese optional


  • Melt butter over medium low heat until just melted.
  • Add sage leaves to melted butter.
  • Continue to cook butter until browned and nutty smelling. Do not overbrown.
  • Remove from heat and drain contents of pan into bowl.
  • Meanwhile bring pot of water to a boil.
  • Add gnocchi and cook 3 minutes for fresh made Gnocchi or according to package directions.
  • Reheat pan used for browned butter sauce and pan fry cooked gnocchi until toasted and browned.
  • Pour browned butter sauce with sage leaves back into pan and coat Gnocchi.
  • Heat and stir for a few seconds to rewarm butter sauce.
  • Serve immediately with fresh shaved parmesan on top.

The greatest thing about this recipe is that because it has been browned, the butter sauce has absolutely no calories whatsoever.  Not. A.  Single. One.

That’s a lie.  I’m a sinful liar.  And it’s a sinful sauce.

But eat up!  Because this potato, this Jesus of the vegetable world, died for our sins.

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Gnocchi with Browned Butter & Crispy Sage Leaves.


  1. Vivian Lee says:

    Okay, I’m sorely tempted to write my own blog post about my attempt to make this recipe, but I’ll settle for a longish comment here! I was super into trying this, because your post makes it look amazing, plus I’ve already made pasta with sage/butter sauce and I LOVE it! I’ve never been a huge fan of gnocchi, but I thought, what the hell??
    So, I got my hubby to make some mashed potatoes early in the day in advance of the pasta making. When it came time, I followed your directions in the “making fresh gnocchi” post of yours, but I couldn’t get the consistency right! I kept adding more and more but it kept being sticky, the bastard!! I almost started crying, and in the end I passed it on to my hubby, who has made a ton of fresh pasta in his lifetime (albeit prior to his recent stroke, but that’s a whole other story) and the first thing he did was dump a ton more flour into the mix, which made me squeal like a pig in heat. What are you doing, I shouted! She said not to add too much flour!!! But he kept adding flour, and I despaired of having anything edible. Surprise, surprise, it was delicious!! I’ve always put lemon juice in my sage/butter sauce, so we threw some in, because we have too many lemons, and it was great. So, the upshot is, we had a wonderful dinner and we have a lot more coming, because that recipe makes a lot of gnocchi!! Thanks again for a great post, Karen!

  2. Sandra D says:

    Hey, Karen: Your first instructions from 2013 said to use a whole egg, now it’s just the yolk? What’s the difference?

  3. Loraldee says:

    A couple of my family members don’t like sage, but your recipe sounds so quick and easy! Are there any other herbs you think would taste good prepared that way?

  4. whitequeen96 says:

    Yum, sounds delicious! We’re finally getting some fall weather here in southern California so I’ll have to try these!

  5. Kathy Shuppert says:

    replace that chicken on your lap (counter picture) with the black curly pup………….

    • Nancy Ann says:

      YES!! Where is that black curly pup!! Not a word about him since the first post. Eeirily suspicious. If that’s how you spell it. She cooked him!

  6. Shelley b says:

    I am thinking this method would work nice with packaged spatzel and add some carmelized onions?

  7. Randy P says:

    The basic dough ratio for Polish potato dumplings is very similar. 1 cup flour, 1 cup mashed spuds, 1 whole egg. I roll the dough into a floured ‘rope’, cut it into pieces, boil in salted water for 6 minutes and then lightly sautee in butter. At this point I usually portion off most of the dumplings into single servings, vac seal and then freeze them for future use. To prepare for the table, lightly sauteed in butter and bread crumbs, plain or seasoned and served.

  8. Lynn says:

    Oops I guess I can say I have never had it.

  9. Etta Lanuti says:

    The perfect simple dish after work. Thanks !

  10. Zen says:

    Love this! I’m going to try it out this weekend – thanks for the writeup!

  11. Dana Studer says:

    Ok I have been thinking about this and what could have gone wrong. My egg was a large egg. Could that be it? I’m not giving upon this, Karen. As God is my witness, I WILL PERFECT GNOCCHI.

    • Karen says:

      No, it shouldn’t make a difference. The difference in egg sizes is minimal unless you’re talking between a small and a jumbo. Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to do a live Skype with you and walk you through it, lol. ~ karen!

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I want some right now….

  13. m'liss says:

    I’ve had little success after many attempts to make gnocchi (potato & ricotta). I’ve got tons of sage growing most of the year so I keep searching for recipes. The texture is never right for me. Yours look great.

    • Karen says:

      Let me know what you feel like is wrong with them. Gluey? Too soft and mushy? Too firm? ~ karen!

      • m'liss says:

        In trying to keep them delicate, I try not to overwork them or add too much flour. Many end up dissolving in the boil.
        Someone told me to test one gnocchi and keep adding flour till they come out right, but I haven’t tried it yet.

      • Michelle says:

        Have you ever tried ROASTING gnocchi in the oven instead of boiling them? I have never made homemade, but after buying various brands of gnocchi either fresh or frozen, I gave up. I could not handle the gummy texture on the outside when cooking them in water. It was a revelation when recently I came across a tidbit to roast them in the oven. We are now eating gnocchi again. What a difference. I toss packaged ones in olive oil and seasoning and roast at 350 for about 15-20 minutes and then throw into any sauce. Another way is to also roast a tray of veggies at the same time, but roast the gnocchi until they are crispy on the outside then combine it all at the end, so good.

      • Karen says:

        I have not! But homemade gnocchi don’t have that weird gumminess that frozen ones do. I’ll give it a shot on my next batch! ~ karen

  14. Stephbo says:

    Not such a huge gnocchi fan, but this sounds tasty, and I’m looking for excuses to use my newly reconditioned and seasoned cast iron skillet.

    Several years ago when traveling in Germany, I came across a potato restaurant. Every dish featured potatoes. It was glorious! And also packed.

  15. Mindy says:

    I’ve got gnocchi on this month’s meal plan, but with sweet potatoes. And yes, brown butter is the sauce of the gods. So good on ravioli, too. Mmmmmmm.

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The Art of Doing Stuff