I’m guessing that if someone suggested you could possibly serve a delicious, healthy meal that everyone in the family would love, and that this meal would require only 3 ingredients and 15 minutes of prep time, you’d be all over it. Just guessing here, but if you’re the tiniest bit like me, these are the weeknight meals you live for. Oh, that every dinner recipe in my repertoire were thus.
I say 3 ingredients and I know you’re looking up at that photo and counting 4, but let’s call the fresh basil a bonus ingredient, because I’ve made it with and I’ve made it without and it's fine without. Let’s be honest here, if it’s crunch time with hungry mouths to feed, chopping fresh basil might be expendable. But just for the record, if you've got it and have the time to add it, you should. And if even 15 minutes is a stretch and all you have are 12 or 13 minutes, you can also forgo the slicing of the tomatoes and open a can of diced tomatoes and it will still taste good.
As a testament to its deliciousness, I think I’ve made this 4 or 5 times in as many weeks (my pantry and fridge are never without gnocchi and the appropriate sausages). Of course I've tweaked it a bit here and there, nothing major, just the addition of a little marinara sauce if my tomatoes aren’t providing enough liquid to pull it together, and a bit of crushed red pepper for a little kick, which we love, and a final dusting of grated parmesan cheese, just because.
But none of those tweaks will set you back on the clock and even coming in at 5 or 7 ingredients, I know you can bust this out in under 15. Here’s the recipe…
Gnocchi Skillet with Tomatoes and Chicken Sausage
I made very few changes to this recipe because it’s quite delicious just as it is. But I did make a few optional little tweaks such as adding ½ cup of marinara sauce at the end just to pull everything together a bit, and canned, diced tomatoes can sub for the fresh tomatoes, or you can use just about any fresh tomato you might have on hand if you don’t have grape tomatoes. I usually add more sausage… my favorite comes in a 4-pack, so I just use the whole thing. If you don’t have fresh basil, no worries, it’s fine without it, and a good dusting of grated parmesan cheese is ever so wondrous. Be sure not to overcook your gnocchi… as soon as they float to the surface, I remove them from the water with a spider strainer and drop them into the skillet. Also, any sausage will do here – just use your favorite.
1 pound gnocchi
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces (about 3 links) cooked chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (or 1 can diced tomatoes with juices)
1 to 2 ounces fresh basil, julienned (1/2 to 1 cup loosely packed, optional)
1/4 teaspoon (more or less) crushed red pepper (optional)
Grated parmesan cheese for serving
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling; cook the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch or larger skillet over medium heat with a light drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Push the sausage into a pile at the edge of the skillet and turn the heat up to high.
When the skillet is quite hot, add the tomatoes, skin down, crowding them in if necessary. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are blistered, then stir in with the sausage. (This is where I add crushed red pepper flakes). Cook for 2 more minutes, until both tomatoes and sausage are slightly browned. Stir in gnocchi and cook just until all is combined.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately with a good dusting of grated parmesan cheese.