15 Minute Sausage and Gnocchi ~ Tender pillowy gnocchi and Italian sausage in a pool of marinara sauce is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal.I still shake my head in disbelief when I stop to think about how’d I’d gone a bit more than HALF my life without knowing the fantastic little bite of doughy goodness known as gnocchi. These little potato dumpling-pasta things didn’t exist in my world until I moved to Utah and (gasp) tried a soup from that “garden” variety national Italian restaurant.
I still remember the first time I had them, I was 24. I was having lunch with my then co-worker Scott, who had ordered zuppa Toscana. As I’m writing this, I am shaking my head over the things I remember, why can I recollect a random lunch from 16 years ago when I can’t remember so many other more important things.
Or maybe gnocchi is just that important.
Now, when I see gnocchi on a menu, I’m apt to give it shot. Usually this is a mistake on my part. They are either overly dense, rock-like balls or they are wispy, nearly disintegrated fragments. Rarely do I come away happy. Because of this, I have refused to buy them at the store, either packaged dry or frozen. Then there’s the fact I have my aversion to all things dough (which I am happy to report is actually lessening) keeping me from making them homemade.
However, when I was in Italy last year, I decided it was time to purchase a package of dried gnocchi and give them a shot at home, after all, if I bought them in Italy, they would be perfect, right?
And then they sat in my cupboard for the next year, just staring at me wondering when I was going to eat them. I’d see them and think not today. And sometimes it was not wanting to consume my authentic Italian gnocchi, saving them for just the right occasion.
When I was looking over the variety of marinara sauces by Mezzetta, I was instantly intrigued with their Truffle, Porcini & Cream. I wrote a recipe around this sauce, even though I had never tried it.
But the store did not have this variety. They had others, but not this one. So there I stood, in my local supermarket, staring at the available varieties. It’s a good thing most of the employees there know me or they might have become concerned with my unbroken, yet glassy-eyed trance directed towards the gourmet jarred sauces. I was rewriting my dinner plans. Or trying.I finally settled on Mezzetta Caramelized Onion & Butter, and with that title, can you really blame me? Despite my attempt at recipe plan B, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with this sauce, how to serve it up, I mean outside just popping the lid and eating it with a spoon straight from the jar. I purchased a few possible ingredients to use with the sauce and headed home.
I went on with my work day and still hadn’t decided exactly how I was going to use the Mezzetta marinara sauce. All I knew is I wanted a quick and easy weeknight meal that felt FAN-CY. It was almost 4 pm and I needed to get on the ball or there would be no dinner (and subsequent post).
Then my phone rang….caller ID indicated it was my daughter’s elementary school…with a prerecorded message…telling me back to school night began in 2 hours.
AHHHHHHHH! There had been no emails. Nothing in the mail. No communication of any kind that back to school night was going to be held. Yes, I should have expected it, being the night before the first day of school, but usually there is some kind of notice a week or so in advance.
No more time to luxuriate over what to make for dinner. It had to get done. NOW.
Well hello there my real Italian (because it was purchased there) gnocchi who cooks in 3 minutes. Italian sausages, you look mighty fine too. However long it takes a pot of water to boil, with an extra 5 minutes, is the length of time it takes to put this meal together. Get the pot on to boil. Pull the casings off the sausage and cook it. Grate some parmesan. Chop some fresh parsley. Open the jar of Mezzetta Caramelized Onion & Butter marinara sauce. Water should be boiling now, drop the gnocchi, 3 minutes later, pull them out, add them to the pan with everything else and serve. It’s seriously that simple to make 15 minute Sausage and Gnocchi.
Now I’m not saying you have to jet off to Italy to buy gnocchi to make this recipe, your local stores carry it. But, should you want to jet off to Italy to buy your gnocchi, Mezzetta can help.
They are offering a trip to Italy!!!! To enter, click HERE.
One (1) Grand Prize Winning Entry will be selected. The Grand Prize consists of a trip for Winner and one (1) Guest to attend culinary experiences (including cooking class and farm tour) in the San Marzano region of Italy and explore other cities of Italy. The Grand Prize trip consists of the round trip coach air transportation between the major commercial airport nearest winner’s residence and Rome, Italy, the culinary experience and tour of Italy.
So enter, and if you win, all I ask is you bring me another package of gnocchi back. Deal? Because I will be needing to make this 15 Minute Sausage and Gnocchi again.
15 Minute Sausage and Gnocchi
- 1 lb dried gnocchi
- 4 Italian sausage links (~4 oz.), any variety, casings removed
- 1-16.25 oz jar of Mezetta Caramelized Onion & Butter marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley; divided 1:1
- 2 tbsp -1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Bring a pan of water to boil.
Remove the sausage casings and cook in a pan over medium-high heat.
Chop the parsley.
Grate the cheese.
Once the sausage is cooked, drain any renderings and add the sauce, reduce heat to medium.
Add one tbsp of chopped parsley to the meat and sauce; stir.
Once the water is boiling, salt it and return it to a rapid boil.
Add the gnocchi, cook according to package directions, usually 2-4 minutes or until they float to the surface.
Remove the cooked gnocchi and add them to the pan of sausage and sauce; stir.
Portion and garnish with the remaining parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Serve and enjoy.