Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!)
Sage Brown Butter Sauce.  Buon appetito!

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This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!It’s funny how your tastes in food are influenced.  Obviously, you probably take a strong influence from the foods you ate growing up.  But there’s more to it than that.  (Otherwise, I’d be a strictly meat and potatoes kind of guy!)  I had the opportunity to study in Italy one summer while I was in college, and that trip absolutely influenced my foodie tastes.  I mean, c’mon…it’s Italy.  How can you not be influenced by the amazing food in Italy?

We actually didn’t grow up eating Italian food very often in our house.  Sure, we ate spaghetti from time to time, but we never ventured into the world of delicious Italian salami, prosciutto, and provolone piccante.  But then I spent a couple months in Rome, and I adopted a love of obsession for Italian food.  (Lucky for me, my wife comes from a large Italian family, so there is never a shortage of delicious Italian meats and cheeses whenever we all get together.)

iccs-ny-party-3-28_medWhile I was studying in Rome, we lived in a small 4-story building somewhat akin to a dormitory.  The top floors were small rooms where we slept, while the downstairs featured a large commons area and computer room.  And then there was the basement.  An Italian family lived in the building year-round, and they took care of the laundry and cooking.  The kitchen was in the basement, and the Italian feasts that came out of there were nothing short of amazing.  For a guy who grew up on a traditional diet of meat and veggies, I thought I had won the lottery!

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!Potato Gnocchi

My favorite meal by far was potato gnocchi.  I had never even heard of gnocchi prior to this trip, but it quickly became my meal of choice.  The gnocchi was light and fluffy, and it was often finished in the most amazing sauces.  I’m an inquisitive kind of guy, so I immediately set out to learn how to make potato gnocchi.  I took notes from the husband and wife who cooked for us.  I looked at various cookbooks around Rome.  (Most of them were in Italian, so that didn’t help a whole lot.)  Then when I came back to the States, I began to practice.

Sadly, those initial attempts at making potato gnocchi were mediocre at best.  The gnocchi were dense and lumpy, but I was able to mask that somewhat thanks to the addition of red sauce and cheese.  I came home and made gnocchi with my mother in the kitchen.  She didn’t know exactly what gnocchi should taste like, so the result was a decent (albeit rather heavy) meal.  But I knew.  I knew these weren’t the gnocchi that I had eaten all over Italy.  I was determined to figure it out.

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!After playing with the recipe proportions a bit, I managed to achieve a somewhat better version of potato gnocchi.  I remember making a huge (like seriously huge) batch of gnocchi for my wife when we first started dating.  I think I sent her home with a whole bunch of leftovers.  She was too nice back then to tell me that my gnocchi still needed some work.  But I knew.  I knew my recipe was close…but it just wasn’t quite there.

Then I finally figured out the key.  It was simple.  It was a food mill.  I had been mashing the potatoes with a potato masher or a countertop mixer.  After all, that’s how I made mashed potatoes.  But I always ended up with little bits of potato in the gnocchi.  In hindsight, this was why my potato gnocchi was too dense.  Fast forward a number of years, and I attempted to make gnocchi again.  I only made some slight tweaks to my recipe, but this time I used a food mill to process the potatoes.  That was it.  I’m not an Italian chef by any means, but I can proudly say that these potato gnocchi rival some of those that I ate in Italy years ago.

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!I recently made this Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce for dinner.  My wife had the distinct pleasure of eating my gnocchi back before I had finally perfected the recipe, so I think she was a bit wary when I told her what I was making for dinner.  But she went along with it.  One bite later, she looked up and said, “Woah.  This is delicious!”  I had to agree.  And now I foresee many more nights of gnocchi in our future.

I served this Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce in this stylish metal bowl from Wilton Armetale.  I’m a huge fan of Wilton Armetale’s serveware as it not only looks classy, but it’s also oven, stove, grill and freezer safe.  Truth be told, I made this gnocchi in the late-afternoon so that I could get these photos before my wife came home.  By the time she got home, the gnocchi was cold.  No worries, though.  I just covered it lightly and put the entire bowl in the oven for a few minutes.  Problem solved!

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!Do you have any Mother’s Day traditions in your house?  Maybe you go out to brunch as a family?  Or perhaps you make her a special dinner that night?  My mother lives down in Nashville now, so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like.  However, I still always send her a gift so that she knows we’re thinking about her.

This year, I’m sending my mother a Wilton Armetale serving platter.  (Mom, if you just read that…sorry to ruin the surprise!)  Not only is the platter functional, but it looks great, too.  In fact, I suspect that she’ll end up keeping the platter out as decoration when it’s not in use.  If you’re looking for an awesome gift for Mother’s Day (or any other occasion), check out Wilton Armetale.  They’ve got a whole bunch of unique gift options over there!

Did you make this Potato Gnocchi at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Looking for more tasty Italian recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

Italian Lasagna Bread
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
Italian Baked Pierogies
Stuffed Italian Bread

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!

Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 367kcal


For the Gnocchi

For the Sage Brown Butter Sauce


For the Gnocchi

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Wash and scrub potatoes. Using a fork, pierce each potato 8-10 times evenly around surface. Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Turn potatoes and microwave for 4 more minutes on high.
  • Transfer potatoes directly onto oven rack and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the potato.
  • Using a kitchen towel to hold the potatoes, peel each potato. Process peeled potatoes through a food mill. Place potatoes on a plate and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Place 3 cups of potatoes in a large bowl. (Note: Remaining potatoes will not be used in this recipe. Save them for another use.)
  • Whisk egg together and add to the bowl with potatoes. Stir until just combined.
  • Add flour, salt and Parmesan cheese to the bowl. Stir until just combined.
  • Transfer mixture to a lightly-floured countertop. Knead mixture until smooth, adding additional flour to the countertop as necessary.
  • Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • On a lightly-floured countertop, roll/shape each piece into a rope approximately ½” thick.
  • Cut rope into segments about ¾” in length. Using the back of a fork, gently press down on each segment to create ridges in the dough.
  • Transfer gnocchi onto the lined baking sheets. (Note: Ensure that gnocchi are not touching one another on the sheet.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add approximately 1/3 of the gnocchi to the pot. Cook for 1½-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi from water with a slotted spoon and transfer into a large skillet. (Note: The gnocchi will rise to the surface after about 1-1½ minutes. Cook for 30 seconds more once they rise to the surface.)
  • Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

For the Sage Brown Butter Sauce

  • Place a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter and stir gently until butter has fully melted. (Note: This should be a different skillet than the one holding the cooked gnocchi.)
  • Add the minced garlic and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter develops a nutty smell and dark flecks begin to appear (~5-6 minutes).
  • Transfer Sage Brown Butter Sauce into skillet with cooked gnocchi. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with additional shaved Parmesan before serving. (optional)


You can place cooked gnocchi onto a baking sheet and freeze until hard. Then transfer frozen gnocchi into a freezer bag.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Wilton Armetale, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own.

This light and fluffy Potato Gnocchi is complemented with a delicious (yet simple!) Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Buon appetito!

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that spicedblog.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.


  1. Dear David, I could eat this up in no time! You should be proud to have mastered the art of gnocchi…you added a marvelous gourmet twist with the brown butter sage. Pinning for later. I must try this soon. Have a wonderful weekend, Catherine

    1. Thanks, Catherine! I absolutely love gnocchi, and I was determined to figure out how to make it. It took a lot of practice, but it’s totally practice that was worth it. Thank you so much…I hope you are having a great weekend so far, too! 🙂

  2. I’ve got some kind of a list with outrageously dangerous food bloggers (sure with the positive connotation). Thus, David, it’s official – I’ve included you in this list. It’s almost umberable to stop by your blog every time. First pasta, then pizza, then again pizza, and now the gnocchi. In a meanwhile, loads of donuts, banana bread and other outrageously delicious things. Kind of the perfect blog’s content to me:)
    Next. I’ve never made gnocchi, Honestly, it’s not exactly my kind of food. Perhaps, it’s cause I’ve never been to Italy and never tried them prepered in this gorgeous country. That might have affected my attitude, I think. But David, what you’ve done here, makes me almost run to the kitchen since the combo of potatoes and sage is one of my favorite. Ironically, every time I thought about gnocchi, I knew if I ever made them, my first gnocchi would definetely be with sage. And lastly, I’ve seen a number of recipes suggesting cooking potatoes in boiling water, but I have always known baking them is only the right approach – so it’s the impeccable work!
    P.S. Stil waiting for something delicious along with coffee – it’s Friday David. Kind of get used to:)

    1. Thank you so much, Ben! I basically just make food that I love to eat. But that’s also why I have to go to the gym several times a week. I mean, I do enjoy starting my day at the gym…although I absolutely hate waking up super early to do. But if I didn’t, then I totally wouldn’t be able to keep making all the things I love to make on here!

      So yeah, add “go to Italy and eat gnocchi” to your to-do list. I can pretty much assure you that you will come back wanting to master the technique, too. Gnocchi is such an amazingly delicious dish…and you can make it so many ways, too! Now that I figured out the food mill is the key, I suspect you might be seeing other gnocchi dishes on here before too long. Maybe you could eat gnocchi with coffee? Hah! 🙂

  3. Hi David! I’ve never made gnocchi – I’ve had it in restaurants and it was so-so. I recently purchased a good quality food mill and I think it’s time I tried real gnocchi! I love brown butter sauce – I quite often cook fish in brown butter sauce.

    1. So you are more than half-way there, Dorothy! I learned from my many attempts over the past 15 years that gnocchi isn’t that hard to make…but it’s kinda hard to make it light and fluffy. I’ve made many a gnocchi dish that is lumpy and dense. I still ate it. It was tasty. But the texture was totally wrong! The food mill is the key…and you’ve already got a good one. Oh, and just be careful to not overwork with “dough” when you make it. Other than that, just toss it in that brown butter sauce of yours and you’ll be all set! Truthfully, I think I might prefer a red sauce or pesto, but the sage brown butter was pretty yummy, too. I hope you are having an awesome weekend so far!

  4. David, your wife must have loved you a whole lot even back then for her to walk away so graciously with those not-yet-perfected gnocchi leftovers! Glad you kept on experimenting and made it up to her with this delicious version! I’ve never tried my hand at gnocchi – like tiramisu, it’s been one of those foods that totally intrigue me! Didn’t realize it could be made with only 5 ingredients!

    1. Yeah, gnocchi is so delicious…but it did take me some experimenting before I finally got it down. The first key was the food mill, and the second was learning not to overwork the “dough” once you got to that step. But the result was totally worth the effort! You should give it a shot…it’s really quite a fun recipe to make. 🙂 (And I think it would go great with some tiramisu for dessert!)

  5. David, you’re such a lucky one! Italian food from the source sounds nothing short of amazing. I’m glad you shared this because I love gnocchi as well. Just bookmarked this!

    1. Thank you so much, Ala!! I’m not gonna lie, it took me a while to ‘master’ gnocchi…well, I say ‘master’ because I’m not sure it’s ever possible to master anything in the kitchen. I like to think there’s always room for improvement in any recipe! But yes, gnocchi is one of those recipes that I am most proud of now. I hope you are having an awesome weekend! 🙂

  6. Love the writing here today David how cool to study in Rome! Even though this one is a little labor intensive, I make it too, and freeze an extra batch or two.
    Definitely the secret lies in not overworking the dough and starting with “fluffy” cooked potato through a mill – that’s what I do. I’ve made those horrible “lumps” of wet dough and it was so disappointing until I found the secret from another blogger friend. I have a recipe up on my site as well and surprisingly it only has two ingredients!
    This looks and sounds delicious with the sage brown butter. Have a great weekend!

    1. Ah, so you totally know the trials and tribulations of perfecting gnocchi, too! It’s one of my favorite recipes to make because it reminds me so much of Italy. (But then again, anything Italian ranks pretty high on my list…I’m kinda obsessed with that place!) I’ll have to check your recipe out. I hope you are having an awesome weekend, Kevin!

  7. I love it that brown butter counts as a sauce. who knew? I was browning butter accidentally for years (tossing it out and starting over) before I tasted the stuff and figured the secret out. Now I call it Beurre Noisette and try to look snooty when I say it. People love that. GREG

    1. Haha! Yeah, it’s a light sauce…but I totally count it as a sauce! I should have used ‘beurre noisette’ so that I could practice my snooty-snooty look when I said it. Hah…love it. Thanks, Greg! I hope you guys are having an awesome weekend so far! 🙂

    1. Yes! Gnocchi totally has a special place in my heart, too, Christina…and I’m not even Italian. (I am pretty much obsessed with everything Italian, though. True story.) These gnocchi were delicious in that simple little sage brown butter sauce, too. Mmmm…Italian comfort food!

  8. You lucky you! Studying in Italy and learning how to make gnocchi! Truth be told, I haven’t yet eaten this dish even though I have heard a lot about it. Thanks for this recipe, I will definitely trying this when I make Italian next 🙂

    1. So gnocchi is incredible, Manali! I made it for years, and it always turned out dense and lumpy. Nothing like the gnocchi dishes I ate all over Italy. But then I got a food mill, and it all changed. Gnocchi is like the ultimate Italian comfort food…you totally have to give it a shot! I particularly enjoy it in a classic red sauce or pesto…but the brown butter sage sauce here was pretty fun, too. 🙂

  9. You LIVED in Italy? OMG! What an experience that must have been. It sounds amazing. It was so nice of the husband and wife to teach you how to make gnocchi. I am all about anything involving potatoes. I love gnocchi, but have never tried to make it myself. I guess I need to get on my Amazon Prime and have one sent ASAP! And brown butter sage sauce?!?! YES!!!

    1. I did indeed live in Italy for a summer. It was incredible! I just wish I could have lived there longer…like permanently! 🙂 So yes, gnocchi is amazing…and it’s totally an impressive dish to make it home. (It freezes well too…so make extra!) But the secret for me is the food mill. I don’t recall them using a food mill when I learned how to make these in Italy…but my gnocchi would always come out lumpy and dense. The food mill solved that problem. Do give it a shot…it’s one of my favorite Italian recipes. (As if I could pick just one…haha!)

  10. YES!!!!! Although we didn’t use a food mill, we used a stick blender post mashing to give it a really creamy consistency- No more lumpy and dense gnocchi. Although it took FOREVER!

    I reckon all kids should study abroad- Life. Changing. And mother’s day…I left my mum a fitbit haha. Her request!

    1. I imagine a stick blender would work, too. I always just tossed the potatoes into the countertop mixer…it totally works for mashed potatoes because I don’t mind a little bit of ‘smashed potatoes’ rather than the perfectly creamy mashed version. But for gnocchi, you can’t have the lumps. Lumps are bad, mmmkay? And it sounds like you have one lucky mum! Plus, you’re out of her hair for a while–that’s the real gift, right? (Haha…I kid!)

  11. I’ve made gnocchi once (wayyyy before I cooked and baked like I do now) and I did not love it. And I’ve never had it at a restaurant! Looks delicious, maybe it’s time to put my new skills in the kitchen to use!

    1. Oh, you should totally give gnocchi a shot again, Medha! It took me many attempts (and finally a food mill!) before I feel like I have finally got it down. Gnocchi is like the ultimate definition of Italian comfort food! 🙂

  12. What an awesome opportunity to visit Rome while in college. You have been on some amazing trips David! One day I will get to Europe! 🙂

    I’ve never had gnocchi so I’m very curious to find out how it tastes. I probably won’t make it myself, so I’ll have to try it at a restaurant one day soon. Yours looks great!!

    1. You are totally right, Tamara. I’ve been extremely lucky to have been on some awesome trips! (I even won a trip to Italy when I was in high school…but that’s a story for another day!) Europe is totally amazing…in fact, it wouldn’t take much to convince me to move there! 🙂

      Gnocchi is awesome…you totally have to try it! (It’s not that much harder than making mashed potatoes…) And you can easily use jarred red sauce or pesto instead of making the sage brown butter sauce!

  13. Whoaaa David. I wish I can master potato gnocchi. I tried making gnocchi few years ago but I failed miserably. Thanks for sharing the secret and I’m so eager to try this recipe. And living in Rome? I love to hear your story about this one 🙂

    1. The secret is totally the food mill, Linda! I made many, many mediocre batches of gnocchi for my family and wife before I finally broke down and tried the food mill…and it worked wonders. Maybe I’ll have to talk more about my summer in Rome at some point. Thanks for the idea…and thanks for commenting! 🙂

  14. You got to study abroad in Italy? Freaking awesome! I went for a week back when I graduated college and I can’t wait to get back. The food is SO legit. I’ve always wanted to try making gnocchi but my buddy tried and said they are so finnicky… so I always back away. Now I have David’s secret recipe though (or not so secret, considering it’s now out there on the interwebs for all to see), I’m totally giving it a try!

    1. Oh man, I’m fairly certain that I could eat Italian food ever.single.meal and be a perfectly happy camper! Gnocchi definitely took some practice to get it down, but this recipe totally works. And the key was the food mill. I always thought that was just unnecessary since I could mash potatoes without a food mill. Wrong. Use a food mill. Enjoy delicious gnocchi.

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