2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. fennel chopped
2 shallots, finely diced
1/2 lb. Italian Sausage (sweet or hot), removed from it’s casing
3 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tsps. fennel seeds
2 cloves of garlic, kept whole
1/2 tsp. red pepper seeds, (optional)
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Add the gnocchi to a large pot of salted boiling water. When they all float to the top drain them. Save 1 cup of cooking liquid in case the sauce seems dry. Add liquid a little at a time.
*Diva Note* In this recipe I pan seared the gnocchi to give them a nice nutty flavor. Jonathan Waxman the chef/owner of a restaurant in NYC called Barbuto sears the gnocchi he serves in his wildly popular restaurant. The gnocchi are one of his most popular dishes. Try this you won’t be sorry. If not just skip this step & sauce them.
If you want to sear them put 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pan, when melted place gnocchi in the pan in a single layer not touching them until they get a nice golden crust on one side. You can either brown the other side the same way or leave it on one side. Remove the gnocchi, sauce & serve.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add whole cloves of garlic. When it begins to brown add red seed pepper, fennel & shallots. Cook the veggies until soft. Now add the loose sausage in the pan & brown, breaking into bite size pieces with a fork as it cooks. Once it’s nice & golden brown add paste, fennel seeds & salt & pepper stirring together. Add gnocchi, stir & serve.
*Diva Note* I keep garlic whole when I cook so I get the flavor of the garlic but I could pick it out of the dish. I HATE to eat garlic. I feel that when it’s chopped it tends to over power the recipe. But please do what you like. This is just my thing!