Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gnocchi with Spicy Sausage, Zucchini & Wine

        Wow, a recipe! Who would of thunk it?!? It seems all I’ve been writing about are events and happenings lately. Which, while being entertaining, do zilch for your dinner table. So I’m back this week with a super-duper recipe that was a first-timer for me. Let me quickly explain…

            Gnocchi- always intriguing, never convincing. Sure, I’ve seen them on countless menus, salivated over them while watching Giada or Mario plate them up, and even persuaded Hubby to order them. But when push came to shove and dinner decisions had to be made- it was always a no-go on the gnocchi. They honestly seemed a bit too boring for me. Heavy, one-noted and offer a lot less per serving than my best friend Mr. Rigatoni does. But one day, not sure how it occurred, I brought a pack home…

            As with anything Italian-oriented in mi casa, I decided to try it out with sausage, zucchini and some fresh basil. I figure anything can be covered up by pork and fresh herbs, right? (and butter and olive oil) Anyway, the end result was great- not heavy, definitely not one-noted and pretty darn satisfying in my pasta bowl. Needless to write, I am now a gnocchi folkie!

            Yes, I just did type that rhyme….I promise to refrain from those next week! Enjoy…

Gnocchi with Spicy Sausage, Zucchini & Wine
Serves: 2-3

OBJ: TCW be able to expand her pasta-cooking skills by using a potato-based version

1 package refrigerated gnocchi- cooked to the package directions, reserving ½ - 1 Cup pasta water
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 shallot, minced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 spicy sausage links, casings removed
2-3 small zucchini, sliced and cut into quarters
S & P- salt and pepper
½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn

1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 TBS oil. Add sausage to hot pan and cook- crumble well while cooking. Once browned, remove from pan using slotted spoon
2. Drain 1TBS sausage grease from pan. Add remaining 1 TBS oil and heat pan over medium flame
3. Add onions, garlic, shallot and a heavy pinch S & P. Cook over medium-low flame for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent
4. Add wine, scrape bottom of pan while upping flame to high and bringing wine to boil. Once boiling, lower to simmer and zucchini. Season zucchini with additional S & P to taste. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes
5. Uncover sauté pan, add sausage back and mix to combine. Add butter and ¼ C reserved pasta water, stir
6. Fold in gnocchi and combine well over medium flame, adding more reserved water if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and another small pinch S & P. Enjoy!


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