Brown butter, brussels sprouts, and thyme gnocchi – Crispy shaved Brussels sprouts and fresh thyme sauteed in brown butter and poured over pillowy puffs of fresh gnocchi. Oh goodness yes!!
It feels like sort of a mouthful of a title for this simple gnocchi dish but you certainly won’t be able to stop filling your mouth once you start eating it either. It’s sort of like when you get home from the grocery store after running a few errands and you have the make sure the Talenti didn’t melt too much from being in the car for too long.
You know, while you hover over the counter with a spoon that has a mind of its own. Yep, it’s just like that.
This brown butter, Brussels sprouts, and thyme gnocchi is a super easy, yet incredibly delicious meal. Simply put, it’s shaved Brussels sprouts crisped up with fresh thyme in some brown butter. Oh heck yes!!
Then the brown butter Brussels sprouts sauce is all poured oh so purposefully over a plate of homemade gnocchi and topped with salty Parmesan cheese. Bring it!
Yes, yes! You could use store-bought gnocchi – I hear Trader Joe’s brand is pretty good in a pinch – but if you’ve got some time, I urge you to make your own. If you really want pillowy puffs of potato dumplings, you’ll want to make your own.
And hey! They freeze great too so make a big batch for future meals!
And since the Brussels sprouts I used here equaled nearly a full serving of vegetables for this meal, I consider this a big-time win! That time I made gnocchi years ago didn’t have any veggies with it and I felt like it was missing something.
The Brussels sprouts here definitely help to round out the dish as a vegetarian meal but if you’ve got major meat eaters in your house, go ahead and serve this as a side dish to basically any kind of chicken – roasted, grilled, parmesan pan fried, baked chicken fingers – or pork chops or even steak.
Basically, you cannot serve this brown butter, Brussels sprouts, and thyme gnocchi the wrong way! It’s kind of the perfect meal!
And if you want to go in a different direction with the gnocchi itself, without the Brussels sprouts and sauce, you can serve some shakshuka on top of these pillowy potato dumplings. It’s a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a fiery tomato sauce with feta cheese sprinkled over when serving and it would make a phenomenal addition to these gnocchi!
For the gnocchi:
- 1 lb Russet potatoes (2 large)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp table salt
- ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
For the brown butter sauce:
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 oz Brussels sprouts, stems and outer leaves with dark spots removed and discarded, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stem - no need to chop
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
- To make the gnocchi: Prick the potatoes a couple of times with a fork and bake in a preheated 400° F oven until they are baked through, about 40 to 50 minutes. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Peel and discard the skins and run the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer set over a large bowl. Allow the fluffy potato to cool another 10 minutes before mixing in half of the beaten egg (discard the other half) and the salt with a rubber spatula. Stir in ¼ cup flour until combined. Continue mixing in flour by the ¼ cup until the dough is soft, tacky, and able to hold its shape. (I have made this recipe a couple times now and always need all of the flour.)
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it together briefly (less than a minute). Quarter the dough and roll one portion into a long rope, about ¾-inch in diameter. Cut the rope into ¾-inch pieces and transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them so they don't touch. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Once you have cut up all of the dough, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- To make the sauce: While the water boils, make the sauce. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and when brown bits start to form on the bottom of the pan, swirl the butter around the pan. Keep it moving until the butter is lightly golden brown. Lower the heat to medium and toss in the shaved Brussels sprouts and thyme - take care as they may splatter - and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Season with a pinch of salt and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. In this time, the butter will continue to brown and the Brussels sprouts will crisp up a little. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove top.
- Once the water boils, carefully drop in the gnocchi and cook until they float, about 2 to 3 minutes once the water starts to boil again. With a slotted spoon, scoop them out of the water, allow them to drain off over the pot, and add the gnocchi directly to the pan with the brown butter. When all of the gnocchi have been added, turn the heat back up to medium to warm the butter for just a minute or so while you toss the gnocchi around in the pan. Transfer the gnocchi and the sauce to two plates and top with Parmesan cheese before serving hot.
The awesome thing about gnocchi is that you can make a big batch and freeze the pieces before you boil them and then quickly boil them off at a later time. In a pinch, you can certainly use store-bought frozen gnocchi for this recipe.
Smells Like Home original | gnocchi recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
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The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook
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