Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs

Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |

I'm always grateful for Sundays, but 25-hour Sundays that follow Halloween? Let's have more of those. What did everyone dress up as? I was enlisted into a group costume this year - the Camp Firewood gang from Wet Hot American Summer. Besides going bonkers all week looking for a puka shell necklace to complete my look as Katie (found at the 4th stop!), it was a big success. After a dinner of tater tots, s'mores, and bug juice us campers trekked into the city for an amazing double ticket: Grace Potter & Charles Bradley (aka 'The Screaming Eagle of Soul'). If you're unfamiliar watch this and this. Goosebumps, right? Now imagine Charles and Grace doing a duet of Otis Redding's Pain In My Heart. Yes, that happened. 

Our Wet Hot American Halloween was super but it was also more excitement than I'm accustomed to these days. I decided to dial it way back and use today's extra hour for some slow and low cooking. These ribs have been on my shortlist of recipes to try since our wonderful friends Eddie and David made them for us about a month ago. Eddie and David are both phenomenal cooks so I didn't have ambitions that mine would match theirs. But, whoa. I surprised myself this time. These guys are crispy, melty, and do that whole fall-off-the-bone thing really well. And it's spooky how easy they are. Active cooking time is less than twenty minutes. Happy November!

Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |
Sage |
Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |
Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |
Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |
Butter + Sage Braised Pork Ribs |


Serves 4-6

  • 2 lbs. good quality pork ribs
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • Kosher salt


  • Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Salt generously on all sides with kosher salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • In a wide saucepan or braising dish melt 1 Tbs. of butter into 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat. Sear ribs in two batches, about 4-5 minutes per side. Add remaining butter and olive oil before searing second batch. Transfer ribs to a plate.
  • Turn heat down to medium and pour wine into braising dish. Use the back of a wooden spoon to loosen up the browned bits.
  • Return ribs to saucepan and add water and sage sprigs. Arrange rib racks so no rack is entirely submerged in liquid.
  • Bring liquid to a steady simmer.
  • Cover saucepan and transfer to oven.
  • Braise for 3 hours (or longer if you have time to kill!). Check every 30 minutes or so to make sure liquid has not evaporated. Add more water 1/2 cup at a time if necessary.
  • Serve alone or over polenta / mashed potatoes / rice (basically anything that will sop up some of the braising liquid).



Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Butternut Squash Gnocchi |

When Tripp and I got married I told him that there was one condition under which I would permit him to file for a divorce: in the event I develop a gluten intolerance. Before you start thinking he's a crummy guy, let me explain. It is I who would become intolerable. My relationship with bread, pasta, cake and the like can pretty much be summed up by this Mariah Carey song  ("You've got me feeling emotions / Deeper than I ever dreamed of / Now you know the way you make me lose control / When you're looking into my eyes.") I'm actually aghast that I haven't posted a pasta recipe on this blog yet. So here begins what will surely be a robust section of this site.

This gnocchi has a couple steps but it's worth it. You start with an old clunker of a squash and end up with delicate little butternut-colored pasta pillows.  It's a beautiful thing.

Butternut Squash |
Butternut Squash Gnocchi Dough |
Butternut Squash Gnocchi |
Butternut Squash Gnocchi |
Find the recipe for this  Parmesan Broth at BonAppetit .

Find the recipe for this Parmesan Broth at BonAppetit.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium butternut squash + olive oil, salt, and pepper)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Sage leaves
  • 4 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Broth (we prepared this recipe from BonAppetit; if you don't feel like bothering with this, your pasta cooking water is a fine substitute)


Squash Puree

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees;
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds
  • Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Roast until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes 
  • Scoop flesh out of squash and transfer to a food processor
  • Blend until smooth, 30-60 seconds; allow to cool; this may be done a day ahead (you may have a bit more than 1 1/2 cups - here are a few ideas from The Kitchn on how you can use any leftovers)


  • In a mixing bowl, beat an egg into squash puree (use only 1 1/2 cups)
  • Gradually fold in flour (Note: dough will be soft. You want to add enough flour for the dough to just come together. If dough is still sticky after adding the full 2 cups of flour, continue adding one tablespoon at a time until it's workable.)
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth
  • Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal sections
  • Take each section and using your palms roll into a long rope, about 1/2 inch thick
  • Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to a floured surface (at this point you can pinch each gnocchi with the tines of a fork but I skipped this step)
  • Gnocchi may be used fresh or frozen; to freeze, spread gnocchi on a baking sheet so they are not touching and freeze until firm, about 1 hour; transfer frozen gnocchi to a zip lock bag for freezer storage

Sage Leaves

  • In a small saute pan heat 1 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat
  • Add sage leaves (removed from stem) and fry 5-10 seconds until crisp - do not brown
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; have a large saute pan on another burner ready to go
  • Cook fresh gnocchi at a rolling boil until they float, about 3 minutes; remove gnocchi using a slotted spoon and drain
  • In a large saute pan, heat 3 Tbs. butter over medium heat
  • Once butter has melted, add cooked gnocchi and parmesan broth (substitute pasta cooking liquid if not using parmesan broth; you can also add a handful of finely grated parmesan at this step if you like)
  • Cook over medium high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes; the gnocchi will be lightly coated in sauce
  • Transfer gnocchi to serving dishes, garnish with fried sage leaves, and serve immediately