Thursday, August 2, 2012

gnocchi with spicy sausage, tomatoes, and corn.

Cleaning the freezer out has become and epic fail on my part.  Every time I remove one thing, I suddenly make something else that falls into its spot.  Its become a vicious cycle but I’ve come to accept I will never see the back of the freezer again.  Regardless, I continue to make valiant attempts at cleaning it out (more so because my better half insists I do so).  This pasta dish came to fruition because the gnocchi that I had stowed away in the freezer needed to be used.  I also had a single sausage that looked like it was nearing the end of its life and a plethora of vegetables that were looking a little ripe.  I figured if I threw it all together that it would either a very bad meal or a passable meal.  Somehow, the opposite was true and it turned into one of the best weeknight meals I had made in a while.

Gnocchi with Spicy Sausage, Tomatoes, and Corn
Let’s talk about sausage for a minute.  Sausage is a wonderful thing it adds an incredible amount of flavor to a dish and a superb texture.  Sausage can also be very terrible.  Bad sausage is not something anyone should ever experience – it’s usually devoid of flavor with a horrible texture, no one should ever eat that.  I’ve been experimenting with making my own but until I master that I buy it from my favorite butcher in New York – Dickson's Farmstand.  Their sausage is unreal – meaty and rich with a lot of intense flavor.  I love using it in pastas or vegetable dishes since it really adds a lot to the dish.    

1 link spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
2 teaspoons tomato paste
¼ cup creamy gorgonzola
1 teaspoon heavy cream
¼ cup parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
9-10 oz of gnocchi
¼ fresh basil, thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  In a large saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil, when hot add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  When beginning to brown and cooked through, stir in the tomato paste and then add in the cherry tomatoes.  Turn the heat to medium low, allowing the tomatoes to cook down and begin to burst about 3-4 minutes.  Once the tomatoes have burst, add in the corn and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Salt your water and add in your gnocchi – watch carefully, they should only take about 3 minutes to cook (they will float when ready!).  In your saucepan, add in the gorgonzola, stirring to mix and melt well.  Add in your heavy cream then half the parmesan and half the basil. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary (I found no salt to be necessary as my sausage and cheese were salty enough but it needed a little pepper!).  When gnocchi are cooked, add them to your saucepan, mixing to combine with your sauce.  Top pasta with the remained of the parmesan and basil.

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