Food Memory in the Making with Gnocchi, Chicken Sausage, Tomatoes and your Favorite Skillet
This recipe is so quick and easy to make and looks beautiful on the plate – color in the dish is always important as we eat with our eyes. It reminds me of a favorite food memory – the first time I ever tasted Gnocchi – they were so soft and delicate. I found it on a great website, thekitchn.com, in their 23 Romantic Recipes post this week. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can use store-bought gnocchi and any type of Italian sausage you like. Spicy, anyone? They also suggest that if you want to finish the skillet with Parmesan that you can but that it’s not necessary if you’d rather not have cheese. Serves 4.
- 1 pound gnocchi
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 9 ounces (about 3 links) cooked chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 to 2 ounces fresh basil, julienned (1/2 to 1 cup loosely packed)
- Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling; cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Heat a 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet over medium heat with a light drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Push the sausage into a pile at the edge of the skillet and turn the heat up to high.
- When the skillet is quite hot, add the tomatoes, skin down, crowding them in if necessary. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are blistered, then stir in with the sausage. Cook for 2 more minutes, until both tomatoes and sausage are slightly browned. Stir in gnocchi and cook just until all is combined, but the tomatoes have not broken down into sauce.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Cooking tip: a cast iron skillet is preferred only because it will give you the best color and sear to the sausage and tomatoes but any skillet will work as long as it does NOT have a non-stick coating. That will interfere with the browning.