Whenever I talk about a “ragù” it’s usually a meat-based sauce served with some type of pasta. I thought by using the soft pillowy texture of a potato Gnocchi would be perfect. This is my Gnocchi With A Porcini Mushroom And Sweet Italian Sausage Ragu.
Let’s start with the ragù.
Prep Time: 15 minutes (re-hydrating mushrooms)
Cooking Time: 40 minutes (includes the cooking time for browning sausage)
Total Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (3-quart) saucepot, 1 (10-inch) sauté pan, 1 (12-inch) rondeau (deep-sided frying pan) 1 (6-quart) saucepot, Microplane
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (4.5-ounce) package of dried Porcini mushrooms, reconstituted and finely chopped
2 cups of beef broth, low sodium
1 cup of mushroom stock (the liquid from the re-hydrated Porcini mushrooms)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 package of store-bought potato gnocchi, (substitute homemade)
1 1/4 cups of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 cup to sprinkle over each serving)
Start by re-hydrating the Porcini mushrooms over medium-low heat with unsalted beef broth, 15 to 20 minutes until plump. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and transfer them to a cutting board, reserving the mushroom liquid. Next, finely dice the mushrooms placing them into a small bowl.
In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil and fennel seeds. Next, add Italian sausage to the pan breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until sausage is completely brown, with no pink, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the grease by using a strainer or a slotted spoon, transferring the sausage to a large mixing bowl.
While the sausage is browning, dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Set those aside.
Using a rondeau pan (deep-side frying pan as seen above) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, allowing the onions become soft and translucent 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the chopped Porcini mushrooms, minced garlic, and the fresh thyme leaves, stir to combine.
At this point, add the gnocchi to a pot of boiling salted water.
Add the reserved mushroom stock to the pan. Allow the stock to simmer and reduce until there’s only a couple of tablespoons of the liquid is left in the pan. Add the cooked sausage and crushed tomatoes, stir to combine. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream, stir through.
When the Gnocchi begins floating they’re done. Using a colander-style spoon transfer the gnocchi into the pan with the ragù, stir gently to combine. Turn the heat to off. Add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, again, stir to combine. Garnish with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley.
Ladle the gnocchi into individual porcelain serving bowls. Top with more of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve hot.
There you have it, my Gnocchi With A Porcini Mushroom And Sweet Italian Sausage Ragù.