It is imperative that I know some quick meals and this is one of my family’s favorites. It takes a few shortcuts, but sometimes you have to do that. Even though I wish I could tell you all to make a homemade sauce on a weeknight after you’ve gone to gymnastics, dance, and soccer practice, you’d swear I was lying about actually having children myself. By the time dinner comes around – in my house it’s 7pm – I know you are exhausted. I know this because I am. So, in the interest of full disclosure, we all use jarred pasta sauce every once in a while.
I only have 1 rule when it comes to jarred sauce – no added sugar. It’s not necessary. There are excellent pasta sauces without added sugar. And let me tell you, pasta sauce is not where I want my added sugar to come from, that’s for sure.
I’m also not going to tell you that you need to make homemade gnocchi. I LOVE my homemade gnocchi, but I certainly do not expect you to make it. This dish was made with vacuum sealed potato gnocchi – and my kids love it.
The 3rd main ingredient to this dish is turkey sausage – whatever kind you like. I used hot Italian, although it’s not that hot. That’s not a shortcut, but it is pretty tasty.
There are a few other ingredients that take this quick meal and make it taste like a slow cooked and flavorful dish – fresh basil and parmesan cheese. I wouldn’t say they are essential, but it definitely wouldn’t be the same without them. The basil adds a freshness you need when using packaged ingredients. The parmesan, especially when it’s freshly grated, adds a umami flavor that you also can’t get with the packaged gnocchi and jarred sauce.
Using the 2 extra ingredients don’t add extra time when making this dish. If fact, if you’re good, you can get this done in 15, but I’ll give you an extra 5 just in case you have some slow boiling water.
- 1 16oz package potato gnocchi
- 16 oz hot Italian turkey sausage
- 24 oz jar tomato sauce – no sugar added
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- In a medium stockpot, fill half way with water and bring to a boil over high heat
- While water is coming to a boil, brown sausage over high heat in a large saucepan or skillet
- If there is grease, drain the grease, rinse the sausage and return the sausage to the pan
- Over medium low heat, add the jar of sauce
- When the water is boiling, add gnocchi and boil until gnocchi floats to the top – about 2-3 minutes
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water
- Drain the gnocchi and add to the sausage and sauce
- Add the reserved cooking water and stir
- Stir in the parmesan cheese
- Sprinkle fresh basil on top