I Did it All for the Gnocchi

sweet potato gnocchi

Someone please tell me that I’m not the only person in this world to remember, to vividly remember, Limp Bizkit. Please… You don’t have to tell me they were your favorite band of the 90’s – well – if you did you’d be lying anyway because that answer should be someone like Pearl Jam or Nirvana or Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just tell me you remember them, if only just barely.

Sometimes I worry that I’m actually stuck in the 90’s. I remember telling my sister she was stuck in the 80’s – I still tell her that, particularly when she ‘facebooks’ (yes, a verb!) her account of the recent Def Leppard show at Walnut Creek. The 80’s were cool and all, but I prefer the 90’s, especially in terms of music. Don’t get me wrong – I love Wilco, Ryan Adams, the Killers, and so on. But most days I’d prefer PJ or RHCP, even Blind Melon, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, or a little Alanis Morissette and Lauren Hill.

gnocchi dough

I could also be just fine if I could wear my dad’s old flannel shirts and curduroy pants every day. I’d love to work 40 hours a week selling Siamese fighting fish at Walmart rather than racking my brain about someone’s family history.  I wish (sometimes) that weekends only meant one thing: the beach. I’d like my excitement of the day to be looking forward to what was going to be in my Happy Meal, and I’d be pretty content vacillating between sweet and sour sauce or honey mustard on my fries, fries cooked in trans fat of course.

But I suppose change is good. In most cases. Sure, my job now pays more than my high school job at Walmart, and my pants have less holes in them and usually no frays at the bottom. And the fries at Mickey-D’s are healthier (if that word can be used in the same sentence as McDonalds..).  I grew out of my Lenny Kravitz infatuation, and I took my eyebrow ring out a loooooong time ago. Also, I don’t listen to Limp Bizkit anymore. I don’t know – I think they were just too angry for my liking.

cut gnocchi

But I love that song “Nookie”, and every time I hear the word “gnocchi” that song comes into my head. Hence the rambling….

…. but I’ll stop that and slap myself back into November (eeps!) 2009. Where was I, anyway? Gnocchi. Yes, gnocchi.

brown butter sage sauce

Gnocchi cooked and tossed in a brown butter sage sauce. That is, soft, pillowy, morsels of creamy potatoey goodness infused with aromatic sprigs of sage cooked in sweet, nutty brown butter.

No matter how you choose to pronounce it, you just can’t beat the taste of it. And the versatility. And honestly, the ease of making it. Bake potatoes, mix with flour and egg, roll into strands, cut and cook. 

gnocchi close-up

“nyo kee”, if you insist.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Adapted from multiple sources; serves 4-6

printable recipe

1 1/4 lb russet potatoes (~2 medium)
1 lb sweet potato (1 large)
1 large egg
1/2 t salt
1/2 t fresh grated nutmeg
1/3 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more for serving)
1 1/2 c ap flour (plus more for dusting)
4 T unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
10 small fresh sage leaves
fresh ground black pepper

special equipment: potato masher, ricer, or food mill


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Pierce potatoes with fork, bake on sheet pan for about 1 hour. Cool slightly, then peel and use special equipment above to mash. Let cool completely on sheet pan.
  3. Lightly flour clean surface. Beat together egg, salt, nutmeg, and 1/2 t pepper in small bowl.  Gather cooled potatoes into a mound on lightly floured surface. Make a well in the middle and add egg mixture. Knead into potatoes (will be very sticky). Knead in cheese and 1 cup of flour, adding more as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with flour.
  4. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out into a 1/2″ thick rope and cut rope into 1/2″ long pieces. (Will have to continuously dust surface to keep from sticking). Place cut gnocchi on sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces. Meanwhile, bring water to boil in large pot.
  6. Cook gnocchi in 2-3 batches. Cook about 3 minutes, or until gnocchi rise to the surface. Transfer to plate with slotted spoon.
  7. Meanwhile, heat butter and sage leaves in a medium skillet. Let butter cook about 3 minutes, until fragrant and nutty. Once gnocchi is finished cooking (all batches), add all to the skillet and mix into the butter sauce.
  8. Sprinkle gnocchi with fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese and fresh cracked pepper.

Gnocchi variation: Russet potato – Use all russet potatoes (2 lbs); Carrot-Potato – use 2 lbs russet potatoes and 1/2 c carrot puree and ~2 T more flour

Sauce variation: Parmigiano-Reggiano cream sauce – simmer 3/4 c heavy cream for 2 minutes. add gnocchi and 1/4 c P-R cheese and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minutes.

7 thoughts on “I Did it All for the Gnocchi

  1. I need to give these another try. My first shot a few years ago was disappointing. I think I’ve grown a bit as a cook and you’ve inspired me.

    I do remember that song and the fact that he claimed it was about Christina Aguillara or something like that. My husband is an 80s freak. He is so proud of himself for being able to id every song and artist. I try not to let him see me roll my eyes. 🙂

    (I had a tounge ring, no eyebrow ring.)

  2. I will have to try these. I did butternut squash gnocchi this weekend and they were just “okay.” I think the issue was the squash never really got smooth enough.

  3. I’m an 80’s girl myself but I do remember Limp Bizkit and particularly that song. Great post and the recipe looks divine! I’ll have to try my hand at gnocchi again with these!

  4. Christi says:

    These look heavenly! I have got to try them so maybe tonight for dinner. I’ll bet with a little prosciutto cooked in they would be divine for those of us non-vegetarians!

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