Turn to Gnocchi for Late-Night Noshing

This recipe is light and quick to put together and so much better than store-bought.
Turn to Gnocchi for Late-Night Noshing
Real gnocchi are light as a feather and tender when cooked. (Dreamstime/TNS)
Tribune News Service
By Beth Dooley From Star Tribune

I love a good holiday gathering: the long conversations, the pretty drinks, the finger foods. But after the party is over, I’m usually hungry and ready to eat. When I’m too tired and too cold to wait for takeout and the restaurants are all booked up, I turn to my favorite holiday hacks. This year, it’s packaged gnocchi. Ready in minutes without much fuss, it generously serves two people, and is satisfying but not too heavy.

These are nothing like their handmade namesake; real gnocchi are light as a feather and tender when cooked. And unlike those authentic Italian potato dumplings, there’s no need to boil the packaged variety first. Simply scatter them onto a sheet pan with butter or olive oil and pop them into a hot oven. The butter will brown and baste the gnocchi as they develop a golden crust and their interior turns soft and fudgy. It’s tempting to nosh on these right out of the pan, but they'll singe your fingers. Better to toss them with a shredded hard cheese—aged Gouda, Parmesan or Asiago—then drizzle them with lemon and transfer them to a pretty bowl.

This simple technique works equally well for a midweek dinner if you toss hunks of sausage and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts into the pan to roast alongside the gnocchi. If you happen to have any leftover pan-roasted gnocchi, add them to a soup or stew or simmer them in a pasta sauce the next day. They reheat beautifully.

Use this holiday hack to make dinner just for you and your immediates or double it and quickly whip up a meal for whoever drops by. This simple nosh is my go-to for winding down and savoring the season’s highlights.

Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage

Serves 2.

Using this simple technique, the gnocchi develop a golden crust and tender interior, while the butter browns and bastes the gnocchi as a rich, nutty sauce. The few sage leaves add woodsy notes; a sprig of fresh rosemary works nicely, too. To finish, toss these with a little shredded cheese and spark with fresh lemon for a dish that’s comforting yet light. From Beth Dooley.


• 1/4 c. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. pieces

• 1 (about 1 lb.) pkg. frozen, thawed or shelf-stable gnocchi

• 3 to 4 whole fresh sage leaves

• Coarse salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan or aged Gouda, plus more if desired


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scatter the butter and gnocchi on a sheet pan. Add the sage leaves and sprinkle salt and pepper over all. Roast in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, until the butter has melted and turned nutty brown and the gnocchi are golden, about 15 to 25 minutes, depending on their size.

Remove, toss with the lemon juice and cheese. Serve in bowls, garnish with the sage leaves and pass more cheese alongside.

Beth Dooley is the author of “The Perennial Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com. Copyright 2023 StarTribune. Visit at startribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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