I will be blunt and honest, I have no experience writing about food, even though it is my FAVORITE subject of all time! Which is ironic, seeing as I refused to be a professional cook growing up. The reasons are simple: 1. I felt it would take the fun out of it and 2. Who wants to be on their feet until 2 in the morning and not be able to make something for themselves?! Haha. I will also apologize ahead of time for the lack of pictures, but I will make this within the next couple of weeks to fill in the gaps. 😉
I bet you’re also wondering why it took me so long to update this first blog post. Anxiety. Not knowing what to write about, what subject to start with, or even where to start! But I suppose, if you just start writing, it’ll just come out, right? I didn’t even think about writing this evening until I thought, “why not start where it started years ago?” I had planned on making sausage and gnocchi this evening because it had been so long since I had made it! I will never forget when I first started thinking of this recipe, it was derived from a meal I had during a vacation over 10 years ago. The recipe is always changing with a few spices here and there, but the base of it is the same.
Can you remember the first time you found out what gnocchi was? I didn’t know until I was at least 25! and I come from an Italian background! If you don’t know, gnocchi is simply put, potato pasta. One day, maybe soon, I will venture into making them by hand, if you could see my kitchen, you would understand why! But for now, prepackaged is the way to go. I always try to keep a package safe in the pantry. For this batch of sausage and gnocchi I had whole wheat gnocchi available. It was quite filling to say the least! The trick is to not over cook the gnocchi, or else it will be like eating mush. Once they start floating at the top of the boiling water, just stir a little, wait about three-five minutes and drain.
For the sausage, I try to use just ground sausage, but I tend to buy whatever is on sale (when you’re on a budget, you buy what you can!). Using sausage links work, but just make sure you remove the casing before you put them into the oil. This is a lesson learned from experience. I also prefer using hot sausage because it gives it kind of a “kick”. I have tried to cooking the sausage, onions, and garlic several different ways. What works best for me, is starting the sausage first, as it has time to brown and the onions and the garlic do not burn. Why don’t I start from the beginning, the following is what you will need:
- Tablespoon of olive oil
- Gnocchi (what ever type you prefer)
- Ground or linked sausage (be sure to remove from casing)
- Medium onion, minced
- Garlic, minced
- Italian seasonings, (parsley, thyme, basil, oregano)
- 15.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- Small can of tomato paste
- small can of tomato sauce
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Chili pepper (optional)
- Top with your favorite fresh green herb; Cilantro is used in the picture
Now, when I say this is a super easy recipe, I am serious when I say this will be done in a flash! Of course not as fast as The Flash, but flashy enough. A little super hero humor there.
Begin boiling the water for the gnocchi in a large pot, add a dash of salt if desired. This also helps the water reach a boil a tad bit faster.
While the water boils, add a tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet and heat at medium. Once the oil moves around the pan like water, add the sausage and brown slightly. Once the sausage is halfway heated, add the minced onions and garlic.
By now, the water should be to a boil and ready for the gnocchi. Add the gnocchi and wait for them to float, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes and drain immediately. I tend to keep it to about 3 minutes since I will be adding it to the sauce.
Hang in there! We’re almost done!
Once the meat is browned completely and the onions are translucent, mix in the Italian seasonings let it sit a few minutes to let the seasonings seep in. Now you can add the fire roasted diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and the sauce. I tend to let the tomato paste melt down first before adding the sauce, it can get messy if you do it all at once! If you chose to add some spice, add them now and let them simmer for a few minutes until steam is rising from the sauce. Add in the gnocchi and let it simmer just a little longer! And voila! Sausage and gnocchi yumminess!
Once, I attempted to send this recipe in to Rachel Ray. She was having a contest where she would choose someone with the most the most original recipe and able to do it on video! I tried my best! But, unfortunately, I did not make the cut. 😦 All is well, I am very happy where my life has led.
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post for my page. Please feel free to leave comments, advice, or send me a private message. 🙂