Are any readers out there from Chicago? Or should I say Chiberia? Pretty rough, isn’t it? Let’s get some warm, hearty food in our systems and warm up already.
I can’t remember if it was my Dad or my Uncle Andy who said this but on more than one occasion, one or both of them have mentioned that one of their favorite meals growing up was pasta with hot dogs, peas and water. I know. I just threw up in my mouth too. Sounds gnarly. Whenever this is mentioned we respond with…WHAT are you talking about?! My Grandma was a better than amazing cook, and the inspiration behind a lot of our dishes. I just can’t imagine her serving pasta with hot dogs, peas and water!
Kara and I have joked around for a while now that we would try to replicate that “dish” but make it just a little fancier and…well…edible. Finally, here it is. Except it’s sausage instead of hot dog (vomit) and lemon juice and wine in addition to water. The peas we did not change! This whole dish actually came together really nicely. The tomatoes and peas added a touch of sweet and a pop of color, the sausage was spicy (you could buy mild though) and the gnocchi were soft little pillows that perfectly absorbed the flavors of the wine, lemon, garlic and shallot.
- 1 pound frozen gnocchi
- 1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage, in casings (we used spicy)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- reserved pasta water, if needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a cast iron skillet, brown the sausage on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the wine and lemon juice and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. This will take several minutes. Once reduced, add in the cubed butter, stirring until completely melted.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook to al dente, according to package instructions.
- Remove the sausage from the oven and cut into rounds. Set aside.
- When the gnocchi is al dente, scoop it out using a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the sauce. Add the peas, tomatoes and sausage and toss everything together. Remove from heat.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired and serve immediately.
- After everything is tossed together in the skillet you can gradually pour in some reserved pasta water. We usually add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.