A Pretty Darn Seasonal Meal – Potato Gnocchetti with Favas, Bresaola and Mint Brown Butter Sauce

Little Gnocchi with Favas, Bresaola and Mint Brown Butter

As you may be able to tell, if you are a regular reader of this blog, we love mint.  We use it often in the summer because it grows like a freaking weed.  Because we live in Brooklyn, we barely have any outdoor space (but are very fortunate to have any). Yet, in that small space, we have many, many planters.  Over the years, we’ve managed to inadvertently kill many varieties of plants, flowers and veggies but nothing will kill our mint.  One season, a few things died unexpectedly and we thought maybe it was the soil (we coined the term “soil of death” during this depressing time – witty, I know).  The “soil of death” was most definitely used when we planted the mint and even that crap couldn’t kill it!  Mint is too often underused in cooking, which I don’t understand.  There are a quite a few varieties of mint and some people feel very strongly about it, usually either loving it or hating it (except when it’s used in their mojito or julep).  I love it but love it equally as much in my savory foods as  in sweets or alcoholic bevy’s.

Little Gnocchi with Favas, Bresaola and Mint Brown Butter

Many are used to sage brown butter sauces so we figured why not try it with mint?  It was delicious.  The heating of the mint mellowed the flavor and added a fabulous “clean” flavor to the dish. It also balanced the creaminess of the butter and paired well with the cheese.  We added some breasaola because we had to use it up before it went off but if you are veggie, you can totally have a fabulous meal without it.  I think some pancetta or guanciale could work as well.  We found fresh fava beans which are still in season and they gave the dish a bit of chew.  Don’t be scared off by making your own gnocchi.  You can follow our easy-to-read instructions.  Gnocchetti just refers to the size – we cut our gnocchi much smaller than we usually do about 3/4 an inch long.  We decided not to run each gnocchi over a fork, hence why they don’t have their traditional ‘ridges’.

So embrace your mint, give it some love.  Hell, you don’t even need to tend to it in your garden unless it’s taking it over and killing your other plants (which can definitely happen).  If it is, make a huge batch of this dish, make a giant vat of mojitos and forget your problems.

Little Gnocchi with Favas, Bresaola and Mint Brown Butter

  • 1 batch of our Potato Gnocchi Recipe (just cut the gnocchi about 3/4 of an inch long and don’t run it over the fork)
  • about 30 fava beans, shelled (click link for excellent step-by-step instructions)
  • 6 slices of bresaola, rolled up and sliced into thin strips (optional – could also use pancetta ir salami, etc)
  • 20 mint leaves (leave 15 whole and chiffonade the rest into ribbons)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano or pecorino cheese
  • pinch of salt and pinch of fresh pepper

What to do:

  1. Make your gnocchi.
  2. Add one tablespoon of butter and, on medium heat, saute your fava beans for a minute.  Add in the sliced bresaola and cook for about 30 seconds or so.
  3. Remove the gnocchi and favas and reserve on a plate.
  4. While your gnocchi are cooking in boiling, salted water, make your sauce.  Add the rest of the butter along with the unsliced mint and a pinch of salt.  Allow it to foam up a bit and turn brownish (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  5. In the sauce, add the cooked gnocchi, the favas and bresaola and toss.  Add some fresh pepper, the cheese and chiffonade of mint.  Toss together and serve with a big glass of white wine.  Enjoy!

23 thoughts on “A Pretty Darn Seasonal Meal – Potato Gnocchetti with Favas, Bresaola and Mint Brown Butter Sauce

  1. What a lovely dish! I love that you used fresh mint in the sauce. It looks really delicious!

    I’ll tell you one thing that will kill mint – the Florida summer sun! I have had the worst luck with it. Mint must love NYC, though. My grandma had masses of it growing in her tiny Bronx garden when I was growing up. Too bad she never thought to use it with gnocchi! 😉

  2. One year I had a small pot of mint growing on my patio and was SO careful to clip it, snip it and basically control the darn thing and about a month or so into the summer, I am in my flower garden which is about 20 feet away from the mint plant and I see these little fuzzy sprouts coming from the ground and of course, it’s mint. I went right over to the pot of mint with my shears and hacked it all off, taking it inside to use up. Then I dumped the soil into a plastic bag and sealed it before even throwing it away.

    Needless to say, I never planted mint again, even in a container. It is one of the few herbs I will buy from the store, and a little goes a long way.

    I LOVE gnocchi….. or gnocchetti. Little pillows of potato goodness!

  3. This to me is a perfect dish – pasta, veggie, fresh herb — nice combo of flavors and textures. I love to add just a taste of pork to an otherwise vegetarian dish. It adds a layer of flavor without excessive additional calories. If I was making this dish, I probably would have julienned a few pieces of sun-dried tomato into the mix for a little sweetness.

  4. What a fabulous idea to use mint with the browned butter sauce. I’m a big fan of mint — though I know what you mean about strong opinions. A good friend of mine won’t touch it — even in a mojito! (I often remind her how sad I am for her!)

    We’re blessed with a nice (albeit small) yard where we’ve learned to make good use of our urban planting space. I was scared to plant mint for years — since it seemed to take over whenever I planted it (and yes — it would kill other things, and spread like a weed). This year, I planted mint along the side of our house — figuring the sidewalk will keep it hemmed in if it goes to crazy. We’ll see if that’s a good plan!

  5. Amy,
    your gnocchi look insanely good. Yes, mints are invasive plant. Grow like weeds … but I love them too. Will never get tired of them.

  6. Really nice idea! The mint with brown butter reminded of many pasta dishes I’ve had with sage and brown butter. Mint makes perfect sense. With the mint it sounds like a summery dish. I need to add a planter of mint to my back porch. Thanks for the post and recipe.

  7. There is a huge low-lying swampy area on the property of the barn where I ride and I discovered tons of mint plants at the edge. Now I’m obsessed with mint recipes (although I forgot to take some home for my lamb chops tonight!) Bring it on!

    I never make the fork marks on my gnocchi. By the time I roll and cut the things, I don’t want to look at them anymore.

  8. We are having a lot of min this summer since i have it growin gin the backyard. yeah why not mint? its a wonderful thing with brown butter u have done here.

  9. delicious and quite inspired combination going on here – I think i might just be making some minty brown butter as some point soon.
    your Gnocchetti are sweet as can be
    ps. your peeled your fave bravi

  10. I know what you mean … our miniscule garden in Astoria is almost overrun by the mint that grows there each and every summer with virtually no maintenance or effort on our part. I’m looking forward to driving by this week and picking a bunch. The brown butter and the gnocchi sound so delicious.

  11. Oh, man- I just cured some bresaola, our mint is rampaging, and our favas are in- how perfect. All I have to do is roll out the pasta…


  12. Mmmmmmm….. Besaola, fava beans, and browned butter….This is a combo of some of my favourite ingredients.

    I’m a big fan of mint too, only I don’t think I’d ever grow it in my own garden as I have many a traumatic childhood memory of having to keep the mint patch in my parents yard in check. They had raised planter boxes and yet that cunning herb managed to invade two other planter boxes by burrowing roots underground.

  13. It looks very yummy and attractive. I’m a big fan of pasta and also I love mint with yogurt. I prefer white wine with this kinds of dishes. Thanks for sahrin the good photos and the recipe of course.

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