Warm, comforting and entirely satisfying.
Gnocchi with sausage and kale is an easy and simple weeknight recipe that involves only a few ingredients and can be modified based on what you have on hand. Broccolini or spinach would be just as good as a substitute for the kale, and you can use your favorite sausage or even pancetta or bacon for the meat. I played around with the cheeses: although I had a bit of Monte Veronese and Pecorino Romano tossed in with the rest of the ingredients, I also topped it with some fresh feta cheese at the end.
This is one of the recipes where the focus is on the veggies and grains, with the meat and cheese as a compliment to add flavor and dimension without being the main event. This makes for a healthy and nutritious dinner that is entirely savory, hearty, and full of flavor. Which left me room for a little something sweet at the end:
Lemon cream pie ice cream topped with crushed sugar and cinnamon graham crackers.
Like we always learned, you can't have dessert unless you eat your whole dinner. This one-pot gnocchi is so good that you'll eat your entire plate and then seconds...so don't get caught without something sweet on hand for afterward!
Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale & Walnuts: (serves 2)
1/4 cup walnut halves
1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. spicy or sweet Turkey sausage
1/3 lb. fresh kale, washed, stems removed, chopped
1 16oz. package of Basil Gnocchi (any variety will do)
salt & pepper
1/8 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
Additional cheese of choice for garnish and topping -- any semi-soft Italian cheese or Feta will do
In a large pot, toast the walnuts over medium heat. Remove onto a plate, then heat the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic and sausage and brown. Remove from the heat, add the kale and a little bit of water. Cover and cook the kale until tender, adding water as needed to retain moisture. Meanwhile, slice the sausage into rounds.
Cook the gnocchi according to the directions: boil salted water and when the gnocchi rises to the top, remove them immediately with a slotted spoon directly into the pot with the kale. Reserve the starchy pasta water. Add the sausage, walnuts, onions, and garlic back in to the pot. Pour in enough pasta water to lightly moisten all ingredients, then stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add more pasta water as needed. Top with some fresh cheese at the end and enjoy!