I can be skeptical of trendy foods, viral recipes, and anything that gets “too much” attention. (That’s my attention. I need it.) Such was the case with the sudden surge of sheet pan gnocchi recipes. “This isn’t right,” I said. “Gnocchi should be soft, not crispy.” But then I tried it—and reader, it works very well.
It’s almost offensively easy: you take a pound of gnocchi, toss it with some oil, vegetables, and some herbs, then spread ‘em out on sheet pan and bake for about half an hour. You can throw some sausages in there too, if you’re type of person who eats sausages. It’s a complete meal with very little prep and a minimal amount of cleanup.
Texture-wise, it’s a delight. The gnocchi remain soft and pillowy on the inside, while developing the thinnest, crispy crust on the outside. Once they’re cooked, you can drizzle with more oil, top with microplaned cheese, or toss with some marinara (or pesto, or cream sauce). It’s a good recipe for cleaning out your fridge, produce drawer, and pantry. You don’t have to stick to an exact recipe; anything that takes about half an hour to cook in a 425-degree oven can be tossed in the pan. I like mine with breakfast-style chicken apple sausages, because they are sweet and salty and brown beautifully, but a nice kielbasa or other smoked sausage would work well too. I said you don’t “have” to use a recipe, but of course I have one.
Photo: Claire Lower
To make this one-pan wonder, you will need:
- 1 pound shelf-stable gnocchi
- 1 small onion, cut vertically into 8 sections
- 6 minion sweet peppers, de-seeded an halved (or 2 bell peppers, de-seeded and sliced into 8 segments)
- 1/2 of 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 pound of some sort of linked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces if necessary
- About 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Heat the oven for 425℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment. Add the gnocchi and all vegetables to a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt, tossing to make sure it is distributed evenly.
Spread the gnocchi and vegetables on the parchment-lined pan, distribute the sausages on top, and sprinkle whole sprigs of thyme all over. (The leaves will fall off during roasting, leaving the easily picked-off stems behind.)
Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10, until the sausages are browned, the vegetables are soft and just a little charred on the ends, and the gnocchi is soft inside and slightly crispy outside. Remove the thyme stems and serve immediately with grating cheese, some pesto, whatever sauce you have lying around, or nothing at all.
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