Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

It is chilllly in Portland folks. It’s dropped down in the 40’s, all the leaves are starting to fall, and Starbucks already has their Christmas cups out. WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS?! Wasn’t it just summer? Regardless, I am so excited for the fact that Thanksgiving is in a little over two weeks and Christmas is right around the corner! I am forbidding myself to not start listening to Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving though. I had the itch to turn on holiday jams today but I restrained myself. Two whole months of listening to Mariah Carey is just a tad much. 

With the cold weather brings lots of staying inside and cooking up yummy things which makes my heart happy. I have loved seeing all of the beautiful Thanksgiving recipes start to come out from other bloggers! Thomas and I are having a mini Thanksgiving for ourselves this weekend, so I’m excited to share what we come-up with for you! 

But now can we talk about these little pillows of sweet-potato gnocchi heaven? MIND BLOWN. The last time I had good gnocchi was in West Hollywood with my friend Paige at Laurel Hardware. They were so freaking soft and pillowy I thought it would never be possible to make gnocchi as good at home. Well my friends, I was wrong. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is the perfect Fall/Winter pasta dish. They are tossed in a balsamic brown butter and topped with crispy sage and grated parmesan- I mean seriously. Permission to do a swan dive into that please? 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter
recipe adapted from Salt & Wind

– 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (yams) halved lengthwise
– 1/2 pound Russet potatoes halved lengthwise
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
– Freshly ground black pepper as needed
– 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnsish
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– 3 tablespoons honey
– 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 12 to 15  fresh sage leaves
– 2 medium shallots, quartered and thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

What to do

  1. For the gnocchi: Heat an oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, season with a few good pinches of salt and a few cranks of pepper, place on a baking sheet cut-side down, and roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh out of skins then mash with back of a fork) and stir in cheese, egg, honey, and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Taste and add additional salt, as needed. You’ve added enough flour when you touch the back of the dough and it is damp but not sticking to your hand.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a square. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into a rope (about 1/2 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. (However, don’t add too much additional flour, as too much will make for heavy gnocchi.) Cut each rope into 1/2 -inch pieces. Stop here or, as desired, using your thumb, roll each piece down over the tines of a fork to indent.
  4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, simmer gnocchi until they float then cook and additional 30 (if fresh) to 60 seconds (if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Reserve 2/3 cups of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.
  5. For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it foams, add sage and cook until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage to a plate and return frying pan to stove. Add shallot and, watching it carefully and stirring often, allow the solids to begin to brown and the butter to become fragrant and nutty. Scrape along the bottom to prevent the solids from sticking and burning.
  6. When the butter is brown, immediately remove from heat, and carefully stir in the vinegar (otherwise it may sting your eyes). Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, return to heat, and cook until just coated in the sauce. Add freshly ground black pepper, taste for seasoning and finish with additional pasta water, salt, black pepper, the crisp sage, and freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.


  1. November 9, 2017 / 12:43 am

    Oh my gosh – Seriously drooling over this sweet potato gnocchi with those sage leaves! Gorgeous!

    • Hillary Harper
      November 9, 2017 / 3:44 am

      Thanks Erin! I have never had fried crispy sage before – SO GOOD!

  2. November 9, 2017 / 3:12 am

    Gnocchi is one of life’s greatest wonders! I wish I made it more often. One of the most comforting meals ever. And this combo looks absolutely amazing. Butter, sage, sweet potatoes, that kiss of balsamic at the end! So good!

    • Hillary Harper
      November 9, 2017 / 3:45 am

      I will definitely be making it more often now that I’ve found how easy it is! There’s several steps to it, but SO worth it in the end 🙂

  3. November 9, 2017 / 7:55 am

    It really is SO cold! This gnocchi looks like the perfect thing to warm us up at the end of a long cold day. I need to make gnocchi at home more often! And crispy sage leaves are always my favorite to top any & all pastas – YUM!

    • Hillary Harper
      November 10, 2017 / 3:11 am

      I agree Marlynn! I made this over the weekend when it was cold and rainy and it was the perfect cozy meal!

  4. November 9, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    These are right up my alley – I can’t wait to make them! I’ve save them to my NYT Cooking recipe box so I can access the recipe easily. I may make these next week! Thank you so much!

    • Hillary Harper
      November 10, 2017 / 3:10 am

      Yay! Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  5. Carol
    November 10, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Looks delicious. I love sweet potatoes without all the marshmallow, and brown sugar that usually goes with all holiday meals. This seem like a nice change to just baked like a regular potato. Must try this.

  6. Kim
    August 24, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Wondering how these would be with a gluten free flour. Im gluten sensitive & have celiac family member. Anyone tried it? Hmmmm

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