I hardly ever make gnocchi. I do always notice it in Whole Foods- in there fresh pasta section. I have had it a few times before in restaurants and also during our trip to Italy last summer. It obviously depends on how well the gnocchi is made- if it is well made, it can be fluffy and light. If it is not made properly, it tends to be tough and heavy.
A friend had tried the gnocchi at Whole Foods and told me it was really good. I was browsing, and the red pepper gnocchi caught my eye. I bought it not knowing what to do with the pasta- but I was sure I could come up with something delicious.
The day after turned out to be a cold and rainy day- perfect for a sausage ragu, I thought- hmm, with lots of red wine- yum! I also decided to utilize the red pepper gnocchi. So, that is where this recipe came from. I took the sausages out of their casings and cooked them with onion, garlic, rosemary and wine, of course…
It was so nice to smell the lovely aromas in the house while sipping some wine and enjoying the evening. My daughter was at a play date and my husband wasn’t home from work yet. It is my favorite thing to do- being in the kitchen, cooking while enjoying a glass of wine.
Anyway, the meal turned out delicious. The gnocchi was excellent- although- my daughter didn’t care for it much. She liked the ragu part but didn’t like the smoky red pepper flavor as well as the gnocchi texture. The adults thought the gnocchi and the ragu complemented each other really well- especially with a glass of wine.
Try this dish- it is perfect for a weekday since it doesn’t take very long. Serve it with a salad and some delicious wine, of course.
- 4 links or one pack chicken sausage, casing taken off and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 cup red wine- a pinot noir or a shiraz will be ideal but any light red wine will do
- 2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or canned San Marzano tomatoes
1 pound red pepper or regular gnocchi- or any pasta you like, cooked al dente with ½ cup pasta water reserved
½ cup fresh basil, chopped for garnish
Heat a large frying pan with olive oil on medium high heat. Add the crumbled sausage and sauté on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or till the crumbles turn golden brown. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add the rosemary and wine and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat and add the tomato sauce. Cook on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes till the sauce has thickened. Add salt and check for seasonings.
Cook the pasta and add it to the ragu including the ½ cup pasta water. Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat and check for seasonings. Garnish with fresh basil.