Two Ingredient Gnocchi & Browned Butter Sauce

Pillowy & light potato bites tossed in an , aromatic sauce.

6 servings

Time: 2 hrs

Ethan ChlebowskiBy Ethan Chlebowski

Gnocchi is not the easiest thing in the world to make. Truthfully, it can be a little tricky to get right.

The tips in the recipe I learned from Marc Vetri's excellent book Mastering Pasta.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Gnocchi components

    • russet potatoes
      1000 g~ 6 medium potatoes
    • all-purpose flour
      ~ 100 g
    • salt
      to taste
  • Optional flavorings

    • black pepper
      a sprinkle
    • nutmeg
      a sprinkle
    • thyme
      , minced
      a spoonful
    • parmesan
      , grated
      a handful
  • Brown butter sage sauce

    • butter
      30 g
    • garlic
      2 cloves
    • sage leaf
      1/2 handful
    • parmesan
      , grated
      for garnish


Step 1: Roast & mash the potatoes

Preheat the oven to 450°F/232°C.

Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. the potatoes in the oven until the insides are fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes, depending on their size.

Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the baked potatoes and scoop the flesh into a potato ricer. Rice the potatoes into a thin layer on a work surface to let the steam escape for about 5 minutes.

  • Note: You can also use a potato masher or fork, but be careful not to over-mash the potatoes.

Step 2: Mix the dough

For the base version, sprinkle salt over the potatoes and mix it in. Taste them and add more salt if needed. If using optional flavors like black pepper, parmesan, nutmeg, or thyme, add those now.

Add 75 grams of flour into a mesh strainer and gently dust over the potatoes.

Using a bench scraper, gently chop and mix the dough.

  • The key to fluffy gnocchi is to work the dough as little as possible until it just comes together. Use as little flour as possible until the potato mixture just comes together.

You can add the remaining flour as needed, but stop when the dough is cohesive but still tender and light.

Pick up the dough with your hands and gently form it into a large log.

Step 3: Cut the dough & form the gnocci

Dust more flour over the log of dough and slice off a large disk, about 1/4 of the dough.

Dust the work surface with flour again and gently roll the disk into a thin rope about 1/2" thick.

  • Repeat this process with the remaining dough.

Using your bench scraper, cut the ropes into roughly 3/4 to 1-inch pieces. Form those pieces into your preferred shape:

  1. Leave as is
  2. Classic ridges shape: press the gnocchi into the back of a fork and roll it away
  3. Little balls: gently roll the gnocchi in your hands.

At this point you can freeze the gnocchi for later use or proceed with cooking them.

Step 4: Blanch the gnocchi

Bring a pot of salted water to .

  • Meanwhile, set up an ice bowl for the gnocchi after they are cooked.

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they begin to float. You can test the doneness by squeezing gently between your fingers:

  • They should feel tender and slightly bounce back, not flatten.

Using a spider move the gnocchi immediately into the ice bath for 30 seconds to and stop the cooking process. Remove the gnocchi and set on a towel to dry.

  • Note: The drying step can be skipped depending on what kind of sauce and how you are preparing the gnocchi. I want them dry so I can crisp them up a bit before saucing.

Step 5: Make the sauce & serve

Set a couple of tablespoons of butter in a medium-heat pan skillet. Once melted add in a bunch of sage leaves and 2 whole cloves of garlic. Cook until the butter is slightly browned.

Toss in the cooked gnocchi, and until they crisp up a bit. Finally, add a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese over top.

  • Optionally pop the pan under the for 1-2 minutes to crisp the cheese.

Serve warm.



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