Two words: brown butter. I think one of the first times I became aware of the beauty of brown butter was at a fabulous Brooklyn restaurant called al di la. Owned by a husband and wife team, it serves up incredible authentic Italian food. Their side of tangy grilled swiss chard stems will make you a believer. Their rabbit with black olives will make you melt. And they have ravioli with brown butter and poppy seeds. I think it’s beet filling, but could have been squash – this was years ago now that I had it last. But the brown butter is really the important part of this story.

My frozen leftover homemade gnocchi (I must do that again soon – how great to pull a bag out of your freezer and 5 minutes later have homemade gnocchi?) were so light and delicate that it seemed appropriate to pair them with something simple that would enhance their character instead of mask it. Sage is a favorite of mine, and the combination of pungent garlic, nutty brown butter, fried sage and parmiggiano is irresistable.


On the side I served a simple spinach and rocket (otherwise known as arugula) salad with a lemon vinaigrette. It was the perfect combination of acid and richness.


No recipe really required here. I put about 3 T. of unsalted butter in a saute pan along with some sliced garlic and let it melt over medium-low heat so the garlic wouldn’t burn. When it started to turn golden at the edges, I removed the garlic from the butter and added the whole sage leaves. Once the butter starts developing a toffee color you’re done. A sprinkle of salt, and then I tossed the just-cooked gnocchi in the sage butter and served it, topped with fresh parmiggiano. A perfect simple Friday night dinner.