Chef’s Counter: expert info from our culinary pros.
This brown butter gnocchi recipe is the real deal. After learning the proper technique from a real Sicilian nonna in Italy about 10 years ago, Chef Elana shares a dish that’s near and dear to her heart. Tossed with a light yet fragrant brown butter and sage sauce, this dinner makes homemade pasta look easier than ever.
Recreate this incredible meal using Chef Elana’s recipe below. Serves 2 + 2 leftovers.
1 pound russet potatoes
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
5 sprigs of fresh sage
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and microwave until tender, 8 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the gnocchi.
Halve the potatoes lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a large bowl (discard the skins). Add the egg and flour. Knead by hand until the mixture is fully combined and it reaches a dough-like consistency. If thee dough is too wet, knead in more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form the potato mixture into a ball and turn it out onto a dry, flour-dusted surface. Cut the dough into four equal portions.
Dust a clean, dry surface lightly with flour. Roll one portion of the dough into a rope about 1/2 inch thick. As you roll, allow your fingers to widen (think jazz hands!) helping the dough spread out evenly. Then, cut the rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Repeat with the remaining 3 portions of dough.
Thinly slice the sage leaves. In a large non-stick pan, heat the butter and sage together over medium-high heat, constantly swirling until the butter is nutty, fragrant and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Working in batches, add the gnocchi and a generous pinch of salt to the pot of boiling water. Boil until they float to the top, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, return the pan with butter to low heat. Carefully scoop out the gnocchi using a slotted spoon or spider, reserving the pasta cooking water. Transfer half the gnocchi to the pan with the butter.
[Transfer half the remaining gnocchi to a medium bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, drizzle with olive oil and save for leftovers. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap for up to two days.]
Warm the gnocchi in the brown butter until well coasted and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce clings to the gnocchi. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in half the Parmesan cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the gnocchi with the remaining Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!
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