Brown Butter Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts

Browned butter gnocchi with parmesan up close

This brown butter gnocchi with sage and walnuts is the perfect 30 minute dinner! It comes together quickly, and the browned butter adds a depth and richness to the dish. Top it with some parmesan and mwah…. perfection.

If you’re new here, you might now know that I lived in Italy for a few months during college… If you’re not new here, you’re probably sick of hearing about it (but it was the best experience of my life and it’s the reason The Foreign Fork exists, so you’re going to have to keep hearing about it lol). 

The main benefit of living in Italy is, duh, the food! Even going to the grocery store is such a different experience than going to the supermarket in America. The foods are so fresh and so FLAVORFUL. And there was so much to experiment with! 

One night, my friend Elizabeth invited me over to her apartment to cook dinner…. We loved to experiment with different Italian foods, and she had had an idea: Gnocchi with Brown Butter. 

I went over to Elizabeth’s apartment that night, and we gossiped about Italian boys, ate nutella, and then cooked gnocchi with brown butter. Can you think of a more perfect study abroad experience? No wonder we’re still best friends 😉 

Anyways, the brown butter on our gnocchi recipe was a game changer…. I was thinking about it the other day and had an idea. The only thing that could have made that dish better was some sage and walnuts. And thus, our recipe for today was born. 

hands on a bowl of brown butter gnocchi

What is Brown Butter? 

Oh wow, welcome to heaven, little one. Most obviously, brown butter is just butter that is… well… brown. And it is my very favorite ingredients in both cooking and baking. Why? Because it takes a seemingly normal, every day ingredient and turns it into something INCREDIBLE (but let’s be honest, butter is also already incredible). 

Brown butter is butter that is cooked on the stove for a while until the color starts to brown. It’s classified by its distinct nutty taste, sometimes even described as toffee. It’s simple to make, and can easily make any sauce, dessert, or dish richer with a more dynamic flavor. 

brown butter gnocchi on white background

How Do I Make Brown Butter? 

Brown butter is simple to make, but takess a close eye (and ear) to get right. To start your brown butter gnocchi, cut a stick of butter up into chunks of about 1 tablespoon each. Put a sauce pan on medium heat on the oven, and begin to melt the butter. 

Make sure to stir your butter constantly, as it can burn quite easily. You’ll want to keep a close eye on it. 

Cooking Your Brown Butter by Sound

One way to tell your browned butter is done is, obviously, by sight. But my favorite way to ensure I’ve browned my butter properly is by sound!

Once the butter melts completely, listen closely. You should hear the butter cracking and popping in the pan. Little bubbles will be forming and popping in the pan, making your butter quite loud. 


The closer your butter gets to browning, the quieter it will become. You know your butter is done when it’s silent…. Once you’ve noticed this, take a look at its color. Brown, right? 

If it’s not, keep stirring it for a little longer. Once your butter is browned, remove it from the heat immediately, or it will burn. Now you’re ready to make the rest of the recipe

What Ingredients are in this recipe? 

Gnocchi
Butter
Sage
Walnuts
Cream
Parmesan Cheese
Salt

How to Make Brown Butter Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt. 

Once the water is boiling, add your gnocchi. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot.

In a separate pan, brown the butter according to the instructions above. 

Once the butter is starting to brown, add the walnuts and half of the sage. Stir over the heat until the walnuts are toasted, about 7-8 minutes. 

Add the gnocchi back into the pan along with the rest of the sage.  

Sprinkle the gnocchi with salt and parmesan to taste. 

Enjoy! Leave a comment letting me know what you thought of this recipe. 

How Long Will my Leftovers Last in the Fridge? 

Because there is no meat in this recipe, I’d say that your leftovers are okay to live for about a week in your fridge. To reheat, you can either heat in the microwave or heat in a pan on the stove once more. 


If you liked this pasta recipe, make sure to also check out:

Browned butter gnocchi with parmesan up close
5 from 1 vote
Print

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts

This brown butter gnocchi with sage and walnuts is the perfect 30 minute dinner! It comes together quickly, and the browned butter adds a depth and richness to the dish. Top it with some parmesan and mwah…. perfection.

Course Main Course, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz frozen gnocchi
  • 12 sage leaves cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan grated
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add your gnocchi. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a separate, large pan, melt the butter. To brown the butter, allow to sit on low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. You will know that the butter is browned by seeing its coloring, but also by listening to the butter. Once it stops cracking and popping, it is close to done.

  4. Once the butter is browned, add the walnuts and half of the sage. Stir over the heat until the walnuts are toasted, about 7-8 minutes.
  5. Add the heavy cream into the pan, and mix until combined with the butter, walnuts and sage.

  6. Add the gnocchi back into the pan along with the rest of the sage strips.
  7. Sprinkle the gnocchi with the parmesan cheese, and mix until the cheese melts into the sauce.

  8. Enjoy! Leave a comment letting me know what you thought of this recipe.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foriegn Fork. For educational and personal use only.