Well, aren’t you glad it’s time for a little Italian?
Cause um, I SO am.
Gnocchi with ragu? Yes, please.
Am I totally annoying you now? SORRY. I have kind of been in this mood lately where I am saying weird things and acting all funny. My random texts are even better. Pretty sure my brother thinks I am going through an early twenty’s life crisis.
Pretty sure I just really like messing with him. I think it may be all these paint fumes, they are starting to get to my brain. UGH. Workers need to be done working already. Yes, yes, yes!!
See, what I mean? It’s all just getting to me. Like my mind needs a little time without hammers and saws and paint smells. Soon though…or hopefully soon!!
Ok, so now that we have all officially witnessed my craziness let’s talk about some Italian goodness! This crockpot Tuscan sausage and white bean ragu with buttered gnocchi is definitely going to make your favorites list.
Honestly, I do not know why on earth I don’t make more dishes like this. Ragu sauces are just so good, and a giant bowl of buttered gnocchi can almost NEVER be beat. It’s incredibly cozy and delicious.
Oh and SO easy!! You do not even need to brown the sausage before adding it the crockpot. Yes, I am serious, and I promise you will not end up with a clump of sausage because instead of browning the meat, I rolled the sausage into tiny little meatballs. I do this a lot with sausage, especially when I make another recipe we all simply call Penne. Normally I would recommend browning the meat first, it just gives the meat a great caramelization, but in this case, adding the meat directly to the crockpot adds so much flavor to the sauce because all the juices drip off directly into the ragu.
Also, I totally just did not want to dirty a pan, and even worse – dirty up my new stove! What? Well, it was cold and snowing, and I believe it was also a Saturday, I just wanted to toss everything in, forget about it and go back to sleep…gosh I love cozy winter days.
Double also, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who left a comment on my Sunday post. I have slowly been working my way through each comment and trying to respond to everyone. Sorry if you have yet to receive a response, the way my comments work is pretty wacko and it’s hard to keep track of where I left off. Anyway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone, in case I missed ya. Your kind words and your tips all put a big smile on my face.
I feel a whole lot less embarrassed now, just excited to slowly make this place my own and show you guys what I come up with along the way! So thanks again!
Anyway, this ragu is perfect for a busy weekday or even a casual Saturday night of entertaining. I would definitely grab some extra crusty bread to mop up all that extra sauce. I’d also load up on the parmesan because, well that’s just me lovin’ my cheese, and hey, it’s winter and cheese just makes a dish that much cozier.
And even though I love gnocchi and highly recommend you use it, you can also use pasta. I think the gnocchi is spot on perfect here, but if you’re not a big gnocchi fan, like my dad (are you guys crazy?!?), or you just don’t have gnocchi on hand, any cut of pasta, or even a creamy polenta (YUM!), would work awesome.
Crockpot Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Ragu with Buttered Gnocchi.
- 1/2 of a sweet onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole san marzano tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper
- 1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale roughly chopped
- 3 cups cooked white beans
- 1 pound gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons butter
- fresh basil and parmesan cheese for topping
Using your hands, crush the tomatoes over the bowl of a 4-8 quart crockpot. Add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir.
Now grab the sausage and roll it into very tiny, bite size balls, adding the to the crockpot as you go. The smaller you can roll the balls, the better. Gently stir the sausage into the sauce. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the kale and white beans. Crank the heat up to high, cover and cook another 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package directions and then toss with 2 tablespoons butter and a little fresh basil + parmesan.
To serve, divide the gnocchi among plates or bowls. Top with the ragu and then garnish with basil and parmesan. Enjoy!
Just promise me one thing. You will not, for any reason, skimp on the parmesan. K? GOOD. Now let’s make some ragu!