Lazy-Day Gnocchi—Thank You, Whole Foods

Not-so-raw ingredients of a great dinner, thanks to Whole Foods.

Doing a little research for my upcoming French Pasta e-book, I went to Whole Foods in search of a great gnocchi.

“What?” you ask, “You don’t make your own gnocchi?”

Sure. Once in a blue moon. But if you follow me at all, you know that I’m a fan of shortcuts—as long as the shortcuts are truly worth bringing to your table. I never feel inauthentic for using them: French cooks use shortcuts all the time (and The Bonne Femme Cookbook is full of good ones). Call them authentic shortcuts, if you will.

So my latest quest is to find a fabulous readymade gnocchi took me to Whole Foods, where I found a refrigerated brand called “Nuovo.” I realized I was really, really hungry, so I also picked up a few other quick things to throw in the pot once home—namely, grape tomatoes, pesto, and 1 Italian sausage link, and I have to say I’m rather happy with the results.

Note that this particular dish will not likely make it into the French Pasta E-Book, because it’s not very French….But the gnocchi is definitely in the running for a recommendation.

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto, Grape Tomatoes, and Italian Sausage
Serves 2.
Note: Use homemade pesto if you can—I didn’t happen to have any on hand, so I purchased some. 

1        fresh Italian sausage link
1        9-ounce package refrigerated gnocchi
1/2    cup pesto (homemade, or purchase the best one you can find) (use more if you wish)
1       cup halved grape and/or cherry tomatoes
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. To cook the sausage, pierce it all over with a fork. Place it in a small amount of water; bring to a boil; reduce heat to an active simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the water is evaporated and the sausage starts to cook in its own fat (if there’s not enough fat, add a little cooking oil). Continue to cook the sausage in the fat, turning as needed, until brown on all sides. Cool slightly and cut crosswise into thin disks.

2. Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain. While hot, toss with pesto, grape tomatoes, and sausage disks. Divide among 2 shallow bowls; top with cheese. Serve.

Question: Is there a really, really good brand of gnocchi that you love? Please let me know—I’ll be eternally grateful and if I end up recommending it, I’ll send you a free copy of my French Pasta E-Book when it comes out!

PS: I don’t you what’s happening in your neck of the woods, but tomatoes of the big, ripe, beefy kind aren’t in the market yet. Grape and cherry tomatoes, however, are looking beauteous.

Other links you might enjoy:

Ma Nuit Chez Martine // My Night at Martine’s: Discusses how French women entertain (and shortcuts they use!)
A Fabulous Potluck Salad—French Style: Just a good recipe for this time of year.
Asparagus! Broccolini! Goat Cheese! Pasta! (If you’re looking for a French pasta recipe (not an Italian one!)


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1 comment to Lazy-Day Gnocchi—Thank You, Whole Foods

  • Terry

    Wini: I made this last night and it was fast, easy and excellent. I did substitue La Quercia prosciutto (4 thin slices cut into ribbons and sauteed) for the Italian sausage as that is what I had on hand. I would also be curious if anyone has found good store bought gnocchi, as I have had little luck making it at home (plus too labor intensive). Whole Food gnocchi was very good but a little pricy ($5.99 for 9 oz). Terry

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