Gnocchi are pan fried until crispy and tossed together with baby broccoli, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce.
Because we use Italian gnocchi and tomatoes and a couple of green vegetables, we like to refer to this dish as an Italian stir fry. The best part is the crispy pan fried gnocchi. The dish is hearty, filling, and full of vegetables. Most combinations of vegetables would work in this dish, though oftentimes we will just use whatever is on hand. That's usually some variation of baby broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and zucchini.
This dish is a great one to make in the summer, especially if you have lots of cherry tomatoes growing in the garden, though its definitely satisfying year round. We have a small garden, and I always plant cherry tomatoes. So this is definitely a dish that we turn to in August when we have plenty of juicy cherry tomatoes ready to pick.
The type of sausages that you use will also impact the overall flavor of the dish, and I'm certain that there are plenty that would work really well. I love the sundried tomato chicken sausages from Trader Joe's. They are savory, simple, and subtly sweet, which works really well with the tomato white wine butter sauce.
When adding the cherry tomatoes, I slice them in half, and without going crazy I try to place them face down in the pan. This allows the face of the tomato to sear and caramelize. It will seal in the juice and flavor of the tomato, a trick that I learned at a cooking class in Rome. It certainly doesn't have to be perfect, and some of the juice will release into the pan, but you will get some bites with a juicy burst of tomato. But if you don't have the time, or patience, or mental space (kids tugging at your ankles) to do this it really doesn't matter and will taste great regardless.
If you have a local Italian market nearby, perhaps one that makes ravioli, check to see if they also make homemade gnocchi. We have one not too far from us, and I alway stock up on their gnocchi. I'll buy about four 1 lb bags of gnocchi and stick them in the freezer to pull out at a later time. They really are totally different and better than store bought. It can make a huge difference. However, store-bought gnocchi is very good too, and what we often turn to to make this dish.
Baby broccoli is my favorite vegetable in this type of dish because the florets will soak up some of the white wine butter sauce, making them extra intense in flavor. Baby broccoli can also be a little bit bitter, which pairs perfectly with the sweet cherry tomatoes and savory butter and white wine sauce. But most green vegetables will work well here. With all the combinations of flavors, this is a dish that you can make, eat one bite and go, "Woah..." before digging in for more.
- For the chicken sausages, we buy the sundried tomato chicken sausages at Trader Joes.
- You can get good quality gnocchi at a lot of places, but of the local grocery stores, Trader Joes has the best gnocchi. Whole Foods has some that is quite good too.
- If you want to simplify this dish, keep the cherry tomatoes and the baby broccoli, but skip the brussels sprouts. It's great to have multiple green vegetables in here, and we often choose 2 different ones, but you really only need one. It would save you some time on prep and cooking. I love baby broccoli, so thats always my go-to vegetable to pair with pan fried gnocchi.
- I do the chicken sausages in a separate pan just to save time. That way I can have two pans going at once.
Italian Gnocchi Stir Fry
- 5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 lb gnocchi
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz baby broccoli, chopped
- 14 oz brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 handful sage, minced (about 8 large leaves)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 oz chicken sausages, sliced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 3 tbsp butter
- Bring a large pan to medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and the gnocchi. Leave undisturbed until the bottom becomes crispy and golden. Then flip and continue to cook until most sides are crispy. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Remove the gnocchi from the pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a separate pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and cook the chicken sausages at medium heat until brown on both sides.
- In the large pan, add another tbsp olive oil if needed. Add the baby broccoli and sauté for 3-5 minutes until it just starts to soften but is still tender and crisp. Remove the baby broccoli and set aside.
- Add the Brussel sprouts and sauté for 6-8 minutes until they begin to brown. Remove and set aside.
- If needed, add another tbsp olive oil, the shallots, sage and cherry tomatoes, cut side down if possible. Allow to sear undisturbed for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the white wine and butter. Allow the butter to melt and the wine to simmer slightly and the alcohol to cook off.
- Add the chicken sausages, gnocchi, baby broccoli, and Brussel sprouts to the pan. Stir and allow to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.