I have a sage plant that just won't quit. I bought it looking like nothing more than a sprig stuck in some dirt at least 5 years ago. I've transplanted it and mostly ignored it except to chop it down to the ground once a year, but it still comes back. It begs me to make this dish all summer as it's looking lush and full, but this is a comfort food that has to wait for fall. I've tried drying the leaves for use all year-round, but they're too tender (or I'm doing it wrong). I use dried sage from the grocery store when I need this dinner when the plant is dormant and it's still very good, but not quite as great. I first had it when the Still Life in Fremont was in it's transformation stage (not the old, funky Still Life anymore, but not The 35th Street Bistro yet either). They served it with roasted chicken. We usually just pound and pan sear chicken breasts and then slide them into the simmering sauce when the gnocchi goes in the water.
Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sage Sauce
4 T butter
4 cloves garlic, sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 to 6 fresh sage leaves (depending on how sage-y you like it)
1 cup white wine
16 ounce package of gnocchi
- Put your pot of water on to boil. This comes together quickly.
- Have your garlic sliced and ready. In a frying pan big enough to hold the gnocchi and sauce at the end, melt the butter over medium low heat. Let it foam and bubble away until it is light brown - usually about 5 minutes. If you're worried it's gotten too dark (and might burn in the next step), dash in a little olive oil. This will stop the butter from browning further.
- Add the garlic, thinly shredded sage leaves, and red pepper flakes. Saute until the garlic is light brown and the butter is slightly darker.
- Add the wine and let simmer until reduced by not quite half, about 5 minutes more. Sometimes I don't feel like buying a bottle of white wine just for this dish, so I substitute diluted chicken stock and the juice of a lemon to equal 1 cup.
- If your gnocchi isn't done cooking, turn off the heat and wait for it.
- Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and stir it for about a minute. The gnocchi itself will thicken the sauce.