In high school, I became addicted to the Food Network. I watched it ALL the time, specifically I loved Rachael Ray and her 30-minute meals and even her sayings that might get on your nerves...I soaked it in. I grew up cooking with my mom, but I think it was Rachael Ray who taught me to properly chop and got me out of the box as far as cooking and wanting to try new food goes. There was something about being able to prepare an entire meal from scratch in 30 minutes that kept me watching. And no wonder, everybody needs a couple of quick meals in their back pocket for nights when you just need to get the food on the table. My 20-minute gnocchi skillet with smoked sausage and veggies has become my new go-to, fast and delicious meal.
A meal, that I think Ms. Ray herself would be proud of.
Gnocchi are potato dumplings and have the best pillowy texture, and I am a texture person through and through. I love the fact that like pasta, you can flavor it however you want to and with whatever ingredients are in the fridge. You boil it for 2-3 minutes and throw it in with the rest of the skillet and voila, dinner is ready.
I saw something similar to this on Food52 and couldn't believe I hadn't created something similar myself. So I did. I love using smoked sausage from the farmer's market (you can use whatever is your favorite), with a bunch of vegetables from the fridge, pour a little beer in to deglaze the pan and you've got yourself a delicious meal in no time.
You can go totally vegetarian with this meal, you could use shrimp, chicken, whatever. That's the best part. Gnocchi can be friends with anything you happen to have hanging out in the fridge!
But there is something about the smoky flavor of the sausage with the veggies that just is the perfect flavor pairing!
- 1 Pack of Pre-made Gnocchi (can be found on the pasta aisle)
- 2-3 Links of Smoked Sausage
- 2 Ears of Fresh Corn
- 2 Red Sweet Peppers (or any other color you like)
- 1/2 Cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 Green Onions
- 1 Beer (you could use whatever you have in the fridge, but a blonde or wheat would work best here)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Cut your sausage into rounds and sauté in an iron skillet (you could use a regular sauté pan also) and brown.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once water boils, add a liberal amount of salt and then add your gnocchi. Boil for 2-3 minutes until gnocchi floats. Save about 2 ladles of the gnocchi water and then drain the gnocchi.
- Remove sausage, and add your corn, tomatoes, and peppers with a little salt and pepper.
- Sauté the veggies in the sausage drippings until they start to just soften and caramalize.
- Add about half of your beer to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the beer reduces.
- Add your cooked gnocchi to the pan and combine. If you need more liquid, add a little bit of the pasta water at a time until you have the desired consistency. It should not get watery though.
- Top with your chopped green onions and serve immediately.
It's the perfect weeknight meal and your whole family (including any picky eaters) will become big fans! My next challenge is going to be to make homemade gnocchi, because I hear it's not that hard...I'll let you know.
In the meantime, Rae Ray, this one is for you, and yes I am still using a garbage bowl, which is one of my favorite kitchen tips still to this day.