Gnocchi is a really easy pasta to make. Now's your chance to learn how!

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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.

To make Gnocchi all you do is use a ratio of 2:1:1.  Two parts mashed potato, 1 part flour, 1 egg.  That’s just basic.  If you need more flour to make it feel like a dough, you add more 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, it’ll be fine!





Boil your Gnocchi then pan fry it.

(Gnocchi is better after a bit of pan frying the same way perogies are.)

If you make your own Gnocchi DON’T overwork the dough.  

(It’ll activate the gluten and make the Gnocchi gluey.)

1 lb of potatoes = 2 cups mashed = 4 servings of Gnocchi


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.
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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.

Hey you!  Please take a second to Pin if you liked this post.

It really helps me keep doing what I’m doing. ~ karen



  1. Etta Lanuti says:

    The perfect simple dish after work. Thanks !

  2. Zen says:

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

  3. 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!

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I want some right now….

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. TucsonPatty says:

    P.S. The title at the top of my iPad says: “Gnocchi with Browned butter and Sage leaves The Art of Doing Stuff”. It took me a second to figure out that the Gnocchi hadn’t left you! ; )

  9. TucsonPatty says:

    All hail the potato! I completely agree it is the Jesus of the vegetable world, maybe even the entire edible food world. (Are there inedible foods? Oh, yeah, that cursed Brussels Sprout!) ha! You are the funniest, Karen, and I may have to try this one -even though I, too, quit cooking some years ago.

  10. Dale says:

    Karen or other Gnocchi makers,
    I just got a “s___load” of sweet potatoes. (That’s an agricultural term right?) And am wondering if they can be used to make Gnocchis? Any modification of the recipe? A different spice than sage?

    • Karen says:

      I’ve never made them myself but I’ve always wanted to make Sweet Potato Gnocchi. It’s definitely possible but I haven’t done it myself. Most recipes for sweet potato gnocchi include ricotta cheese for some reason. I do think the sage and butter sauce would go well with them. Maybe a dash of cinnamon too? Or nutmeg! ~ karen

    • Mel Robicheau says:

      I believe Meghan Telpner has a sweet potato gnocchi recipe. Look her up on Google, she’s a Canadian nutritionist and blogger.

  11. Renee says:

    Yep butternut squash or squash ravioli or risotto with brown butter & sage – yum. I love taters in any way shape or form, and after having the store bought gnocchi, I was not amused. I shall try the homemade now for sure.

  12. bellygrl says:

    Looks delish. Funny column and funny commenters. Makes my day!

  13. maggie van sickle says:

    I make squash ravioli with brown butter and sage yummy will have to try this one albeit maybe purchased gnocchi. I have watched folks make this it takes a bit of fiddling. Ravioli not so much. Happy rest of the week.

  14. Sabina says:

    Ummm, yeah, this will be incorporated into Sunday’s dinner for sure!

  15. Keelea says:

    And let us not forget the best of use of the versatile potato–vodka. Mmmmmmmm.

  16. Donna says:

    You are killing me. How do you make enough potatoes for gnocchi or potato pancakes? As it is, we make, rather my husband makes a Dutch oven full and they’re eaten within 24 hours. Of course, the morning after making them he makes sausage gravy as my father used to make and passed on to my husband. Yes, to my husband. I don’t cook. I used to when I was raising children but all that made from scratch, organic nutritional vegetable crap just wore me out. Now they’re all gone and I can eat what I want. Of course, Tennessee sausage gravy is the old fashioned heart attack on a plate kind but so good on leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast, then lunch and then dinner. My daughter will drive the five hours to our house for some of his mashed potatoes. My dad did teach me those and I taught my husband. Now I guess we’ll be making two Dutch ovens at a time because you have now reminded me that I also grew up on potato pancakes which I dearly loved and had managed to forget until this morning. So now he has to learn potato cakes and gnocchi. Hope my old dog can learn these new tricks.

  17. Mary W says:

    I have always used store bought gnocchi and never really knew why anyone would want to eat it. I didn’t hate it, just didn’t like the heavy sort of tasteless gummy stuff in my mouth. BUT, I adore potato pancakes and will be trying this recipe since anything with browned butter floats my boat. Karen, when I was very small, we lived next door to a man that began a Spud Nut Shop in town. He made the most amazing potato doughnuts that were a huge step up from flour ones. Haven’t tasted anything that great in so long, so the recipes and maybe even the water were probably the key ingredients that made the difference. When he came home each night, the neighborhood kids gathered at his truck for day old spudnuts. Great memory today, thanks!

  18. Maryanne says:

    Yum. Can’t wait to try it. :)

    Have you had potatoes for dessert? Search out “potato plum dumpling” on It’s very close to the recipe that my grandmother used to make. The dumplings can even be made without plums – just roll into snakes as long as your palm.

    • Karen says:

      That’d be a perfect dessert for me since I’m not a dessert person. A potato dessert. It’s like it was made for me, lol. Thanks Maryanne. ~ karen!

  19. Rose says:

    Jesus of the vegetable world….oh my God, you made my day with that!

  20. Rosie Walsh says:

    I’ve only had packaged gnocchi and it was sorta meh. This sounds fabulous. A question: what herb could be substituted for the fresh sage leaves?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rosie! Packaged gnocchi is much tougher and denser than homemade, which is more pillowy. Even if you don’t like sage and find it too strong, you should still give it a shot with this recipe. After being fried in browned butter, sage loses a lot of that punch it has, lol. I usually find sage very strong and use it sparingly. But if it truly turns your stomach, lol, you could trie substituting basil, but don’t add it to the butter until nearly the end of browning it because it’ll get crispy much more quickly than the sage. :) ~ karen!

      • Mary W says:

        I agree with the browned butter version of sage leaves. It does change them remarkably! I just cooked a Blue Apron meal that called for browned butter sage over sweet potatoes and since I love sweet potatoes and sage is just too strong, I was going to skip that. I didn’t since that is one reason I got Blue Apron – to try new things. Amazing – the sage was not strong, just flavorful enough to make my potatoes wonderful. I will be making it again and again.

      • Rosie Walsh says:

        Sage doesn’t turn my stomach at all. I just don’t have easy access to it. My basil is finished for the year, drat it all. Will try with fresh oregano or thyme, with some cumin seed added near the end. I can see endless possibilities, which will change the flavor but still be fabulous. Maybe dried or in oil anchovies.

        My doc has told me to gain weight. I never thought I’d hear those words directed at me! So now I can eat this with impunity.

  21. whitequeen96 says:

    Looks YUMMY! And thank you for the Food Sales by Month chart; that’ll come in handy.
    Oh, and I Pinterested (is that a word?) you!

  22. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Having Celiac Disease is the pits. I fondly remember gnocchi. They are fun to make and love the idea of the fried sage and browned butter. Yum.

  23. Dana Studer says:

    I just put away a few cups of mashed potatoes tonight. Now I know what I’m doing w them. I love gnocchi & have been a fan of browned butter, fried sage for years. I mash or bake sweet potatoes and top with brownedbutter, fried sage, and parm reggiano. So good. My mom used to make potato pancakes. I remember an egg, maybe two, and some garlic powder but nothing else. It was one of her famous unwritten recipes. Is there a recipe you can share, Karen?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dana! Yup, I’ve linked to my potato pancake recipe in the post. if you click on the photo of my potato pancakes or the word potato pancakes you’ll be taken to my recipe for them. ~ karen!

  24. Elaine says:

    Sorry … I see a typo of mine – meant to type “Homemade Gnocchi from Leftover Potatoes!

  25. Elaine says:

    I’ve never eaten Gnocchi and had no idea they were basically potato pancakes but cuter! I’ve Pinned this recipe then Pinned your “Home Gnocchi from Leftover Potatoes” and am definitely going to try them. I’m not much of a cook but when I see your capable hands in the Step-by-Step Instructions, it gives me the much-needed confidence to go for it! Thank you, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Honestly if you want to try making homemade pasta, gnocchi is the easiest way to start. Mashed potatoes, flour, egg. That’s it! Give it a go. ~ karen!

  26. Melissa says:

    I mean, come on, how yummy does this sound! (I skipped the part about the calories, I refuse to think this dish has any). Must try my hand at this dish!

    • Karen says:

      Oh you should have kept reading about the calorie! It doesn’t have any. It’s quite amazing actually. ;) Good luck making it, gnocchi is so easy. I’m a real gnocchi pusher, I want everyone to try making it at least once. Once you do it the first time you think “Why haven’t I been doing this all my life??!”. ~ karen!

      • Penny says:

        ‘….scientists’ have done studies that ‘….. prove conclusively’ that foods do not have any calorific value whatsoever if the following strict criteria are met:
        i) the food is consumed after midnight and before 4 a.m. (local time)
        ii) the person consuming the food remains standing throughout ingestion
        iii) the food item either is of itself, or has as its main ingredient (by weight OR volume), leftovers
        iv) the only illumination of the dining area must be either the fridge interior light, a candle, the glow from a laptop or tv screen or the flickering of a fire (real or fake, it’s the flicker that negates the sugars)
        So you know exactly how I’ll be enjoying these buttery bad boys!
        Thanks, Karen, this looks very tasty.
        Must remember to pick some sage from the garden just down the road.

        • Penny says:

          Oh, and broken biscuits don’t have any calories either, they fall out of the crumbly edges. And stuff that falls on the floor ACCIDENTALLY loses up to 57% of its calorific content due to gravitational acceleration, more if there is breakage, deformation or adherence of foreign matter.
          That does NOT mean that you can push a slice of hot buttered toast off the breakfast table into an artfully placed bowl of homemade passionfruit curd, and fool your fat backside that you’re eating steamed kale. But remember, these clinical studies were done by ‘…. scientists’.

  27. Jani says:

    Sounds absolutely yummy!! Thanks for sharing!

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