Make Ahead

Carrot Gnocchi with Butter and Sage Sauce

March  3, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a starter
Author Notes

I once heard that the goodness in carrots helps get over jet lag. I’m currently at Heathrow airport, only a fraction into the 30-hour journey from Italy to Australia, which takes me through five airports and throws me 10 hours ahead to get from one home to the other. I think I’m going to need some carrots.

This wonderful gnocchi recipe came to mind. It’s a unique and a beautiful dish that was made for me by my roommate from college, Sara, a talented and quirky Italian photographer from near Venice. Silky, light and sweet, she served them piping hot and very simply with melted butter and Parmesan cheese.

As these remind me more of Tuscan gnudi (“naked” ravioli, made with spinach and ricotta) than traditional gnocchi, I am rather inclined to add some fresh sage leaves to the sauce as you do for gnudi. - Emiko

Test Kitchen Notes

Emiko's Carrot Gnocchi with Butter and Sage Sauce is a tasty twist on a classic. Surprisingly quick to make, the carrot gnocchi are very light with the perfect hint of nutmeg. The sage butter sauce takes about 3 minutes to make—super simple—and coats the gnocchi beautifully. Note: When shaping the gnocchi, flour your surface really well—this is a wet mixture. —jvcooks

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds organic carrots
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons semolina flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a stick of butter
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • extra parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Boil or steam (I prefer steaming) the carrots until tender, then squash them with a fork or a potato masher until you get a mash. Let cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, egg yolk, flours and parmesan cheese until combined. Add the cooled carrot mash and season with salt and nutmeg.
  3. With two tablespoons, make quenelles out of one tablespoon of the mixture (if you can’t get these right you can also simply roll them into ping pong sized balls), placing them on a lightly floured surface until you’ve finished.
  4. Heat a large pot of salted water to boil and drop in the gnocchi. Give a gentle stir to make sure they are not stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let boil for several minutes, when they begin to float they are ready. Reserve some of the liquid from boiling, and strain the rest. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  5. The sage and butter sauce should take you about 3 minutes to make at the most. Melt the butter in pan and allow to colour slightly. At this point, add the sage and then some of the reserved cooking liquid to create a sauce that you want to just coat the gnocchi. Let it reduce for two minutes, then add the gnocchi to the pan, turn off the heat, season and divide onto plates. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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16 Reviews

jencordes July 13, 2020
Made this a few weeks ago and liked it but didn’t love, love it. My husband and I ate several, then froze the rest. I’ve since been boiling a few from frozen, for lunches. I think I’m back in again, haha. Really good and freeze so well. I think I’ll keep them on hand for quick lunches in the future! Made them with gluten free flour.
Ellen November 24, 2015
Hello! Can't wait to make these. What pan are you using in the picture? Thank you!
Emiko November 25, 2015
It's a bit deceiving, it's a very small non stick pan! About 5-6 inches in diameter.
Greengourmet September 19, 2012
Excited to try these out! I noticed the size of the gnocchi in this recipe seems larger than what I have previously experienced. Is there a reason for the bigger size? Would this work with smaller, "bite-sized" pieces?
Emiko September 19, 2012
These are quenelles made with 2 tablespoons, which is the regular size for these gnocchi. I did photograph them in a really small pan, so that may be the illusion! If you can't master the quenelles, you can also roll the gnocchi into balls about the size of walnuts.
HollowLeg August 18, 2011
I made these last night and loved them! I do have one question: mine were difficult to shape and I had to put them in the freezer for a little while before boiling so they would hold together. Do you have any suggestions for making them easier to handle? It may be because I boiled the carrots instead of steaming them, which may have made it more soggy. Or would you add more flour?
Emiko August 19, 2011
They are quite a soft mixture, but they shouldn't be too sticky - dusting with a bit of flour is ok but watch you don't put too much in as they can get a bit heavy and chewy with too much flour. I also usually make these into quenelles (like in the photo), which is quite easy to do with a soft or soggy mixture without having to add the flour. Hope it works out next time! :)
Dabblings June 30, 2011
I just made this for dinner. I love the texture of the gnocchi. It is so much lighter than traditional gnocchi, which is saying a lot. Thank you for sharing. I'm passing this one around to the mamas I know that want their kids to eat more veggies.
Emiko July 1, 2011
Wonderful! Thanks for reporting back - I'm definitely with you on the veggie front!
ZucchiniFly March 28, 2011
Thank you again Emiko! We loved it so much - the flavours were amazing! even more that it was so easy & super healthy. I chilled the gnocchi in the fridge for two hours, used a hot spoon (dipped in boiling water) to quickly form quenelles, dusted with extra semolina (i just ground up fine polenta), and served with a really excellent sheeps milk ricotta & shaved zucchini. Hope more people try it out!
ZucchiniFly March 28, 2011
i just added a photo of it ... i briefly seared it too so its got a bit a of a golden crust :)
jencordes June 16, 2020
I am making this tonight and realized I don’t have semolina flour. I do have polenta and will throw it in the food processor and sub it in. Thx for that suggestion!
ZucchiniFly March 26, 2011
This was so divine! It was the first time that i've ever made gnocchi and it came out perfectly. I've already had requests from the family to make it again this week :) Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Emiko March 27, 2011
Thank you for this, ZucchiniFly! I'm so glad to hear that someone's tried it and loves it. The Tuscans do this same recipe with spinach instead of carrot, which is excellent too, but the carrot I think is just so unique in this dish. Enjoy!
cheese1227 March 11, 2011
These look just georgous!
Blissful B. March 10, 2011
Congratulations on the Editors Pick. These look delicious!