Gnocchi with Italian Sausage & Peas

I always fall into the trap of just sticking sausages into a pan or onto the barbecue. While this is a perfectly acceptable way of eating one of god’s finest creations – I’m always looking for a new way to serve them. This gnocchi dish does just that. Beautiful sift and light gnocchi alongside tasty sausage meat (be sure to buy good quality!) and plump juicy peas is just great. A lovely summery dish!

INGREDIENTS: (serves 3-4)
For the gnocchi:
500g floury potatoes (whole)
50g plain flour
1 small egg
salt & pepper

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Italian pork sausages
2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 ripe roma tomato (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh sage (roughly chopped)
pinch chilli flakes
1 tablespoon fresh parlsey (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (roughly torn)
1 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper

To make the gnocchi:

Boil the potatoes whole, with their skin on for about 25-35 minutes until soft. Drain and while still hot, carefully peel off the skin. Pass through and potato ricer or fine sieve onto a clean working surface. Sieve over the flour and season generously with salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre then pour in the egg. Bring the mixture together into a smooth dough scattering a little extra flour if needed to make it less sticky. Don’t handle the dough for any more than a couple of minutes otherwise it’ll make the gnocchi too dense. Make a large patty then cut into quarters. Roll one quarter into a long sausage about 1 1/2cm wide. Cut into 2 1/2 cm pieces. Wit a fork make ridges on the top of each gnocchi then arrange on a floured plate while you make the rest.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil on the back of a stove.

To make the sauce:
While it’s coming to a boil heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan over a moderate heat until just hot. Squeeze out the meat in small pieces from the sausages directly into the pan and fry for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Turn up the heat then add the garlic, chilli flakes and sage, stir fry for 1 minute then add the wine and sizzle for 30 seconds before adding the tomato and stock. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the peas and cook until simmering. Remove from the heat, season with salt & pepper and stir in the parsley and basil.

When the water is boiling, tip in the gnocchi and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they all float to the surface.

Drain carefully then tip into the large frying pan and carefully stir into the sauce.

Arrange in a large bowl and serve with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and maybe a little freshly squeezed lemon.

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