Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Crispy Sage Butter: The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Gnocchi


There's nothing more heavenly than home made gnocchi. Homemade gnocchi are so much better than store bought ones because they are noticeably more tender. These heavenly little pillows are pan fried and served with a simple but glorious sage and browned butter sauce. This gnocchi tastes like it came from your favourite restaurant! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.

I love this pan fried gnocchi so much that I often have to stop myself making it too often because I will eat this once a week if I could. It's the closest thing to a restaurant meal that you can make at home but if you look at the list of ingredients it's so short and sweet and you've probably got everything on hand except maybe the sage, but don't forget the sage! The crispy sage really makes it pop!


Tips For Making the BEST, Softest Gnocchi

I've made a lot of gnocchi because Mr NQN loves it as do I so these are all of my tips, a combination of tips from making it and from the amazing Francesca and Callum Hann's masterclass at Tasting Australia.

Potato Ricer

1 - Gnocchi is best made without technology because things like food processors can produce firmer gnocchi as it overworks the starch in potatoes. Use a potato ricer to mash your potatoes and this ensure that there are no lumps and that your mixture is evenly textured.

2 - The best potatoes to use are starchy potatoes that are good for mashing. These are usually marked as such on the packet but also look for Carisma or Desiree potatoes.

3 - Use cake flour - the best flour for gnocchi is a low protein flour which means that when you knead the mixture, it will remain tender as the gluten doesn't get too worked.

4 - Do not add the flour until the milled potatoes are cold. Otherwise they will absorb too much flour. Too much flour will make your gnocchi firmer nad chewier and not tender and soft.

5 - Fine semolina flour is best for rolling rather than 00 flour.

6 - To evenly sprinkle flour on a surface, take your thumb, pointer and index fingers and pinch some flour and rub these fingers over a surface to distribute the flour evenly and lightly (this really works!).


7 - It may seem like a lot of sage but once it crisps up the leaves shrink considerably.


8 - I always use salted butter for browned butter but also for everything. Salted butter has all the flavour!

9 - If this is your first time making gnocchi, start off with a half batch (beat the egg and only add half the beaten egg). Gnocchi making can be tiring if making a full batch. I never make gnocchi for a group of people. I know that sounds weird but it takes a lot of time and halfway through a full batch of gnocchi I get completely over it and slightly resentful of myself.


Speaking of making food for a couple, not a group I used to always cook for my boyfriends and everyone that I've dated. We've also always eaten out a lot with them too as they've all been into food (Mr NQN is the only partner I've had that doesn't really look forward to eating out). Sometimes you need more than food and I often would lose interest in them after 3 months or so and it was getting to that point with one guy. We were at an Italian restaurant and had ordered pasta. I could smell the garlic butter as the waiter bearing our plates approached. Forget perfume, if you want to inspire lust might I suggest dabbing some garlic butter behind the ears?

This was a long time ago you know when people used to use 1 clove of garlic for a whole recipe and Australia was yet to fully embrace the beauty of garlic and the idea of garlic breath was considered an immediate turn off (the basic years of food). I inhaled deeply, the aroma of buttery garlic making its way through my olfactory senses and instantly, I was soothed. My brain told me that only good things could come from this. But what about garlic breath?

I looked at my date, at his pretty, innocent eyes and made a decision then and there. I chose garlic.

It probably wouldn't have worked out anyway. And I'm happy to report I'm in a great relationship with garlic right now.

So tell me Dear Reader, did or do you ever worry about garlic breath? How often do you make gnocchi at home?



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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves 4

For gnocchi

  • 700g/25ozs starchy or mashing potatoes (Desiree, Carisma)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 200g/7ozs cake flour
  • 1 small egg, beaten

For Browned Butter Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 120g/4ozs salted butter + 1 tablespoon
  • 25 sage leaves, washed and pat dry
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Grated parmigiano or pecorino cheese


Step 1 - Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Place into a pot of cold water. Add salt and cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until very soft and the sides are banged up and a knife can easily slip in. Drain. Take a potato ricer and push the potatoes through. They should go through easily as they are so soft. Spread out and allow to cool completely.


Step 2 - Measure the cake flour and have a small bowl of semolina flour ready. Place a pot of water onto boil and line a large tray with double paper towels. Add the beaten egg into the cold potato and knead it in. Then knead in all of the cake flour. Knead to form a ball of dough but do not overwork. It will still has small ridges on it and won't be smooth like a bread dough. Cut into quarters. Roll out one quarter into a log around 3/4 inch thick. Slice the log into little squares or rectangles. Place into the boiling water and when they float to the surface after a minute or so, remove using a slotted spoon and place in a single layer on the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi dough. At this point you can stop and continue later on in the day to pan fry it if you have people over. Just make sure to cover the gnocchi.



Step 3 - Once the gnocchi has been boiled, place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter and pan fry the gnocchi in batches. You want to try and get the gnocchi browned on all sides. Scoop into a bowl or back on a tray once done. Once all of the gnocchi has been pan fried, add the remaining butter to the pan. When it has melted, add the sage leaves and garlic allow the butter to bubble and foam and the sage leaves to crisp up. Add the gnocchi and spoon the butter over the gnocchi. Spoon onto serving plates with some of the browned butter. Grate cheese over the top and serve.


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