Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pan-Seared Gnocchi with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Talk about comfort food! Gnocchi are tasty little Italian dumplings made with potatoes and flour and then boiled like pasta until they’re fluffy pillows of total greatness. My recipe is aimed for beginners and adds egg yolks to make the dough a little bit easier to work with. Once you master this recipe, omit the egg yolks for a less dense dough. Either way rocks as far as I’m concerned.

You may serve gnocchi with a variety of sauces, such as marinara or a creamy gorgonzola sauce, but I prefer this simple browned butter sage sauce because it is so easy to make and tastes absolutely heavenly. It also allows me to brown the gnocchi to give it a slight crunch on the outside while remaining soft and light on the inside, which adds to the already awesome flavors of this dish.

These little dumplings freeze extremely well for up to 3 months. Just place the uncooked gnocchi in small plastic bags and off to the freezer they go. When you’re ready to cook, just add them to the boiling water, straight from the freezer with no need to thaw first.

If you really want to have a fast and easy meal, make and freeze homemade sage butter by mixing softened butter with chopped sage leaves. You can melt this compound butter directly from the freezer to your skillet, saving lots of time for a fast and delicious meal!


  • 3 pounds (1.4kg) russet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced all over with a fork
  • Cooking spray
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten (I scramble the egg whites and add to my fur baby’s food)
  • ¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting and as needed

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
  • 15 or so large and small leaves fresh sage
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for grating


Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray potatoes with cooking spray, place them on a baking sheet and generously coat them with kosher salt. Bake until completely tender throughout when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes to an hour later.

Let potatoes cool a few minutes, slice each in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Working in batches, use a ricer to press the potatoes onto a clean work surface.

Drizzle the egg yolks on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with ½ cup of sifted flour. Using a bench scraper, chop down repeatedly all over to cut flour and egg yolks into the potato.

Shape the potato mixture into a loose ball. Press the ball flat with hands and then fold in half using bench scraper and press down again.

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup flour on top of the potato dough. Continue to gently fold and press, just until a uniform dough comes together. Lightly dust with flour.

Dust a new work area with flour. Using bench scraper, slice divide the dough into 4 equal sections and roll into logs about ½ inch thick, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Cut each log into approximately 1-inch portions (obviously I didn’t measure the ones in the photo, lol). Use a gnocchi board to make indentations into each of the gnocchi or, alternatively, just make leave a small thumbprint in each piece of dough, which in my opinion is faster and easier, but just not as fancy. This step allows the sauce to adhere better to the gnocchi.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add small batches of the gnocchi, stirring gently with a slotted spoon to prevent sticking. When the gnocchi begin to float to the surface, wait about 20 seconds, remove from the water and place on paper towels to drain for easier browning. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi and save the water to add to the sauce if needed.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it foams. Add sage leaves and gently sauté until very aromatic and butter begins to lightly brown.

Place a batch of the gnocchi into skillet with sage butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the gnocchi starts browning. Using a slotted spoon, place browned gnocchi in a bowl and repeat with the rest of the batches.

Return all gnocchi back to the skillet and cover with the butter sage sauce. Add a little bit of the cooking water as needed if the sauce becomes greasy.

Carefully spoon gnocchi with some of the sauce into serving dishes and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve with a salad and some crusty bread and enjoy! And I promise you will!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

This entry was posted in Pasta, Rice, etc., Recipes, Vegetables/Vegetarian/Vegan and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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