Gnocchi with butter and sage - Italian Notes

Gnocchi with butter and sage

Gnocchi con salvia e burro

This gnocchi recipe reveals the secret behind  delicious, light, homemade potato gnocchi to be enjoyed with butter sauce and sage on a trial and fail basis.

The fact is that most of my gnocchi attempts turned out a sticky, lumpy failure, until I consulted an Italian friend whose homemade potato dumpling are heavenly light – like small clouds floating in your mouth. According to her the flour is the crux. If you use a weak, fine-grained flour, the result tends to become sticky and hard to work with as the potatoes absorb too much starch, while wheat with a high gluten content is more manageable. She’s right, of course. Last time I made gnocchi, I used flour for pasta making which contains a great deal of durum, and the shape improved considerably along with the taste and texture.


750 g potatoes
180 g flour
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 egg
3 tbsp butter
Fresh sage


Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water.
Drain and mash the potatoes while they are still hot (use a food mill)
Add flour, egg, parmesan and more salt to taste and knead the ingredients together. Make sure it isn’t sticky.
Take a piece of dough, roll it into a rope and cut the rope up in small pieces.
Clarify the butter by melting it slowly in a heavy saucepan.
Deep fry the sage leaves in clarified butter to make them nice and crisp.
Boil the gnocchi in salted water 2 minutes until they rise up to the surface.
Drain the gnocchi and mix with butter sauce and sage before serving.

More gnocchi and sidedish recipes

Gnocchi with butter, lemon and ricotta

Gnocchi with tomato and mozzarella

Wrinkled potatoes with chili and garlic dip

Homemade potato croquettes

Gnocchi recipe with butter and sage - Italian Notes

Gnocchi served with butter and sage

9 replies
  1. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    Three years ago I stayed in a small albergo in San Pellegrino , north of Bergamo. The place was run by an elderly gentleman who did everything but the cleaning. One evening he made a delicious gnocchi with butter and sage (salvia).
    Time to play “Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel…

  2. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    Another sage memory. After a visit to Hungary in 1980 I developed a taste for the country’s food. I got hold of a Hungarian cookbook.
    It contained a recipe where you fry mushrooms, add hardboiled eggs, garlic and sage. Then you cut a “pocket” in a pork steak, and fill it with the mix. Cover the steak in aluminium sheet and cook in oven for 1,5 hours.
    Közönöm szepen means thank you very much in Hungarian, not sure about the spelling…

  3. Paolo @ DisgracesOnTheMenu
    Paolo @ DisgracesOnTheMenu says:

    Your gnocchi look fantastic, and butter and sage is in my opinion the best way to showcase them. Interesting about using durum flour, it makes a lot of sense. I make them with all purpose flour, but I really have to make sure I don’t put too much – Next time, I’ll try your advice. The addition of parmigiano in the dough is also very interesting.


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