Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day Meal 2010: Ragout w/Sweet Italian Sausage & Homemade Gnocchi

Wishing a belated Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and any mommy's doing double time too!

On Sunday night I was originally supposed to make tuna tofu patties but decided to postpone that for the next meal.  I wanted to make something special for my husband so I made homemade gnocchi and a ragout with sweet Italian sausage.  I had to use the sausage soon since we got it at the farmer's market a week ago from a vendor that's there every week called Jacobsmuhlen's http://jacobsmuhlens.com/index.htm. They have great tasting sausages in about a dozen different flavors and this vendor is at every Hillsboro Saturday Farmer's Market during the season. 

A while back my brother had been visiting and he bought some fresh chorizo from Jacobsmuhlen's and he made a fresh gnocchi and fennel dish.  My husband liked the chorizo and gnocchi but not fond of the fennel.  He wanted me to make a dish similar to it with the sweet Italian sausage and gnocchi so I had to ask my brother who is a professional cook for some advice.  He then told me to make a ragout, add the sausage, and make some gnocchi.  My brother gave me directions on how to make the gnocchi but I also googled a recipe which I found on Allrecipes.com.  I decided to follow the recipe from the website as a test trial which I'll create another post about my experience making gnocchi for the first time.

When I made the ragout it wasn't from a specific recipe, my brother just told me what it was made of and I just ran with the idea. Overall this was a fairly easy meal to prepare, it was the gnocchi that took the most time.  This meal turned out really well and flavorful that my hubby gave this a go ahead for meal next time around.

2 potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Peel potatoes and add to pot.  Cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.  Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.  Combine 1 cup mashed potato, flour and egg in a large bowl.  Knead until dough forms a ball.  Shape small portions of the dough into long "snakes".  On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.

3 green bell peppers, diced
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
8 links Sweet Italian Sausage, sliced and cooked
salt (optional)

Saute garlic and onions in oil until onions are almost translucent.  Add tomatoes, mix and let simmer till nearly soft.  Add bell peppers and sausage,mix and let simmer 5 minutes.  Add prepared gnocchi, mix and add pepper to taste. You may add salt if your sausage doesn't have much flavor, I didn't have to since the sausage I got was really flavorful.  Let simmer 5-7 minutes.

Here's the very yummy outcome.

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