This time of year has me literally starving for homegrown flavors and thank goodness our butchers can come to the rescue! At Eckert’s, we buy local pork cuts and grind them to make a variety of fresh sausages on a daily basis. All are delicious, but this week I am adoring Eckert’s Italian Sausage for its flavor-forward fennel and pepper, among other spices. Our Italian sausage offers the perfect amount of seasoning to my Gnocchi and Eckert’s Italian Sausage Skillet recipe. I started by removing the sausage from the natural casing by cutting just into the casing along the sausage, lengthwise. Then, using gentle pressure, I peeled the casing back from the link and discarded the casing. Next, I cut the sausage links into ½” pieces and sautéed them in the skillet. Fortunately, the sausage pieces hold their shape as if they were patted into mini sausage meatballs.
Once the sausage is nicely browned in the skillet, the diced and minced veggies can be sautéed in the skillet with the sausage. Finally, the spinach and previously cooked gnocchi, along with the reserved pasta water can be added. Next, I stirred until the spinach has wilted. I believe every dish takes a notch up on the taste scale with a little fresh grated Parmesan so please consider this addition seriously!
Finally, divide the skillet sausage dish among four platters and serve. This dish will not disappoint! It offers a colorful presentation with a flavorful profile and it puts local meat in the spotlight.
Eat well this new year! Angie
Note: this recipe is gluten free!
- 1 package of shelf-stable gnocchi (approximately 17.5 oz)
- 4 links of Eckert’s Italian Sausage, casing removed, sliced 1/2” thick*
- 1 medium sweet yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ yellow onion, cut into slivers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup spinach
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste, optional
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Set gnocchi and liquid aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage slices for 5-6 minutes, turning once. When the sausage is no longer pint, add sweet pepper, onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Then add gnocchi, tomatoes, spinach and reserved liquid to skillet. Heat through, gently stirring mixture until spinach is wilted. Top with Parmesan. Serves 4-5.
- *To remove the casing from the sausage, use a sharp knife to cut just through the casing down the sausage lengthwise. Then, gently peel away the casing and slip the sausage link away from the thin casing. Discard casing and cut sausage into 1/2” slices.