Pan-fried potato gnocchi with crispy sage and browned butter

Pan-fried potato gnocchi with crispy sage and browned butter

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***RECIPE, FEEDS TWO***

1 large floury potato, about 1 lb (.5 kg), I used a russet
1 egg yolk (you can use the whole egg if you’re doubling the recipe)
3/4-1 cup (90-120g) all-purpose flour
pecorino or parmesan cheese for grating
1 bunch of fresh sage
butter (I used almost half a stick, 50g)
salt
pepper

Stab the potato a few times to create steam vents and bake or microwave the potato until soft. Cut it open and let it cool until you can go in with your fingers and pull out all the fluffy flesh, leaving behind the skin and any leathery bits that won’t mash smooth. Smush the potato up with a fork (or a ricer, if you have one), and make a little well in the center of it.

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Put the egg yolk in the well, along with a big pinch of salt per portion (two pinches here), and grate in a little pile of cheese. Beat up the egg then sprinkle over some of the flour (you might not need it all). Start kneading the dough until you get it smooth, adding more flour as needed until you get moldable consistency.

The dough will be easier to roll out if you can let it sit for 15 minutes or so at this point. Get a pot of water coming to a boil.

Roll the dough out into a snake and cut it into little, bit-size dumplings. Be sure to kick the pieces away from each other with your knife as you cut — they’ll stick to each other if they touch.

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Dump the gnocchi into the water, being sure to keep them from sticking to each other as they go in, then stir them to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. As soon as they’re in, get a pan (ideally non-stick) heating over medium heat and drop in a big knob of butter.

Once the gnocchi are all floating on the surface, you can drain them — it’ll only take a couple minutes. Put them into the melting butter, and fry them until they’re starting to brown — if you’re not using a teflon pan, be extra careful to keep them moving so they don’t stick.

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When you’re a bit short of the color you want, tear in whole sage leaves, and stir everything until the leaves are crispy and the gnocchi are as brown as you want them. You might need to add some butter if the pan is looking dry. Taste a dumpling for seasoning and consider stirring in some pepper and salt, but remember you might be about to grate more salty cheese on them.

Dump everything on plates and grate over lots of cheese — but maybe try a little orange zest instead of cheese? Sounds crazy, but it works surprisingly well with the sage.

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