Fall Feast: Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Sausage Ragu
Happy Wednesday everyone! Despite the rain, my day got off to a great start with brunch at a dreamy Upper East Side townhouse. (Isn’t that how every Wednesday should start?!) The apartment – rented out by One Fine Stay – had the loveliest backyard strung with lights, and a big, long table inside, surrounded by cool art and a great book collection. Sigh. The event was put on by my friends Emily Miller and Signe Birck of Trends on Trends, and had an all-star line-up of partners: Stumptown created a coffee bar (that included nitrogen-infused iced coffee on tap…not kidding), Mast Brothers snuck chocolate bars into the goodie bags, Perrier served fizzy water, and best of all, two fabulous lady chefs – Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson – cooked up a Mediterranean feast. I am still dreaming of their marinated persimmons with feta and mint, and their warm, flaky flatbread served with herbed labneh and eggplant, walnut, and quark spread. Wow. The duo, who formerly cooked at Brooklyn’s Glasserie, is set to open a falafel joint in LA this winter calld Mad Capra. The breakfast (a.k.a. #breakfastclubnyc) was a part of One Fine Stay’s new Chef-in-Residence program, and is the first in a series of breakfast clubs that Trends on Trends will be hosting around the country. I love living in NYC for so many reasons, but I especially love getting to meet so many interesting people, doing so many amazing things. But I digress. I’m really here to talk about gnocchi.
A few weeks back, I shared photos from my FEED Supper around the yellow table. It was such a fun night, gathering good friends to raise money for an amazing cause, but one of the highlights of the meal was the incredible gluten-free fettucine and chocolate chip cookies we sampled from Cappello’s. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Cappello’s is an artisan company in Colorodo that specializes in handmade gluten-free pastas, gnocchi, and chocolate chip cookie dough – all made from a base of almond flour. I have been so impressed by everything I’ve tasted, and when they recently sent me some of their gnocchi to try, I was stoked.
I brought the gnocchi with me to the farmhouse this past weekend, and served it with a hearty sausage ragu, fresh basil, and lots of grated Parmesan. It was so good that I had to recreate it and share the recipe on the blog. (You may recognize the recipe if you’ve ever made my Sausage Ragu with Creamy Parmesan Polenta…it’s pretty much identical, with the polenta swapped out for gnocchi, and a few other minor tweaks.) I served this with a lemony kale salad with radicchio and shaved carrots, which truly made for a perfect fall feast. Stay tuned for that recipe next week!
P.S. My amazing intern Olivia shot these pictures. Isn’t she so talented?! She’s going to college next year to study photography, but I’d say she already has a pretty fantastic start.
GLUTEN-FREE GNOCCHI WITH SAUSAGE RAGU
2 all-natural fresh Italian sausages
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, and their juices
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
1 12-ounce package Cappello’s gluten-free gnocchi
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Remove the sausages from their casings (just make a slit on one end and squeeze the meat out). Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes or so until cooked through and no pink remains. Remove the sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon onto a paper-toweled lined plate. Set aside. Pour out all but a tablespoon of sausage grease from the pot.
Add the onion to the pot and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, stirring for a minute or so until it is softened and fragrant (do not let brown). Add the tomatoes, crushing with the back of a spoon. (WARNING: this can be messy, as the tomatoes tend to squirt, so wear an apron! For a cleaner preparation, pour the tomatoes into a bowl in advance and crush the whole tomatoes with your hands. Then pour the mixture, liquid and all, into the pot.)
Add the sausage back to the pot and let the mixture come to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check periodically and if it seems dry, add some water. Stir in the Balsamic vinegar and basil, and let cook for a minute or two over low heat. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes; they will float to the surface when they are done. Drain the gnocchi and add into the pot of ragu, stirring gently to combine.
Serve the gnocchi in a large bowl and garnish with extra chopped basil and plenty of grated Parmesan.