I am a huge fan of Italian dinners. Anything I can that involves tomatoes and pasta is a win in my book. If it were up to me, we’d be eating Italian dinners every night in our house. This recipe uses gnocchi and sausage, with brightly-colored veggies thrown into the mix, to create a belly-filling dinner that is big on flavor and small on cook time.
Ingredients for Gnocchi and Sausage:
1 package (about 1 lb.) Gnocchi Italiani
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (about 12 oz.) Sweet Italian Sausage, sliced crosswise
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
2 cloves garlic
1 package (about 2 cups) of grape or cherry tomatoes
? cup grated parmesan cheese
Set a large pot of water to boil and cook gnocchi according to package directions (about 2-3 minutes at a rolling boil). Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan. Sauté the sausage in butter until it begins to brown on both sides. Add the sliced zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another 3 minutes or so.
Stir in the tomatoes and let them cook for a few minutes to heat through. It’s ok if they split open, this adds flavor to the dish. I used a package of “mixed medley cherry tomatoes” because it had a beautiful variety of color!
Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and mix everything together well. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and step back to admire your pretty gnocchi and sausage dinner!
If you have small children, they may not love the gnocchi because its texture is a bit surprising. I think kids are expecting something sturdy because they look like little potatoes, but cooked gnocchi is really kind of squishy. I remember my oldest turning his nose up at it when he was little. At 13, however, he loved it and asked for seconds. The 3-year-old twins, who have to be eased into trying all new foods, were apprehensive and only ate what I told them to (“Ok, fine. Eat 2 pastas and then you can be done.”). The baby, who eats anything not nailed down, loved his gnocchi and sausage. So, in our house the gnocchi and sausage dinner went over about as well as anything else does: The boys loved it and the girls weren’t impressed. But what else is new? 😉