This recipe from Cooking Light‘s October 2014 issue had a number of firsts for me. I had never cooked gnocchi before, let alone knew there was such a thing as wholewheat gnocchi. I had never cooked Italian sausage before and had never removed the casing from said sausage before. This is a hearty meal and particularly nice to prepare in the fall and winter months. Even better, all the cooking is done in one skillet, first on the stove top and then under the broiler.
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 (16-ounce) package of wholewheat gnocchi (Finding this at my local Wegmans involved a team of five, me and four helpful Wegmans staff members as we searched in the organic aisle, the dairy and fresh pasta aisle, only to finally find it in the regular dried pasta aisle.)
8 ounces mild Italian sausage, casing removed
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
Preheat broiler to high.
The first thing I recommend doing is to chop the tomatoes and set those aside. I use Roma tomatoes as they’re easy to cut up (three for this recipe is about right).
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to cover as much of the pan surface as you can. Add the gnocchi, cooking for seven minutes or until lightly browned (Be prepared for some of the gnocchi to stick to the skillet.)
Once the gnocchi are browned, remove them and place in large bowl. Keep the heat on medium high on the burner. I would scrape off as much of the residue that has stuck to the skillet and discard (It’s ok if there’s some left as that will eventually be loosened further in the process).
Now for the Italian sausage. As I mentioned above, I had never cooked Italian sausage before, let alone removed the casing. I use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip at the casing, providing an opening to then cut the skin off. Add the sausage to the skillet, breaking it apart and cook for six minutes or until browned.
Remove the sausage and add it to gnocchi in the bowl and give it a quick mix.
Add the tomatoes and garlic to the skillet for two minutes, stirring occasionally (instead of slicing the garlic which I find to be a pain, I use a zester and zest the two cloves of garlic, adding that in with the tomatoes).
Return the gnocchi and sausage into the pan and add the chicken stock. This is usually the opportunity to scrape up any remaining gnocchi bits that had stuck to the skillet bottom.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the mixture and place pan in oven and broil for two minutes or until cheese is browned.
Remove from oven and add chopped basil on top. Serve immediately!
Serving size: about 3/4 cup (Because the serving size is 171 calories, I allow myself two portions because that’s still under 350 calories)
Calories:171; Sat Fat: 3.1 g; Protein: 14 g; Carbs: 7 g; Fiber: 1 g; Sodium: 449 mg.