Pan-seared gnocchi with browned butter and sage

Sep 27, 2021
This easy pan-seared gnocchi with browned butter and sage is so delicious! Source: Getty Images

I’m a sucker for pasta and I particularly love gnocchi (those soft, light and irresistibly delicious pillows of potato). This pan-seared gnocchi with browned butter and sage recipe is so easy! I mean, you could go all fancy and make your own gnocchi, but store-bought is totally fine. I got the recipe when I attended a cooking class a few years back and as someone who generally defaults to a tomato-based sauce for my pasta dishes, I thought it was bloody genius!

It’s rich and decadent enough to be served for a special occasion, but it’s also so simple to be made ‘on the fly’ any night of the week. Perfect if you’re craving comfort food.

Serves 6.



  • 3/4 tsp salt; more as needed
  • 750g potato gnocchi
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3 even pieces


  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 18 large fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest


  1. Cook the gnocchi. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add about one-third of the gnocchi. To get the gnocchi into the boiling water, fold the parchment ends to form a chute and gently shake the gnocchi out, taking care not to clump them together as you drop them in. Give one gentle stir, wait until the gnocchi all float to the surface of the water, and then cook them for 1 minute.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a 25cm non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is completely melted, use a large slotted spoon or a strainer to transfer the cooked gnocchi from the boiling water to the skillet, shaking off as much water as possible first. The gnocchi should form a single layer in the skillet. (If the butter is melted before the gnocchi cook, take it off the heat; if the gnocchi cook before the butter is fully melted, it’s fine to add the gnocchi.) Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the gnocchi, until they’re lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
  3. Make your sauce. Wipe the skillet clean if necessary. Put it over medium-high heat and add the butter. When butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns a light brown colour and the sage leaves darken and crisp up slightly, 2-3 minutes. Do not let it burn. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add reserved gnocchi and lemon zest to the pan and toss to coat well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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