Weeknight Shorts: Italian Dumplings

As our cool autumn weather grabs hold and we start to ponder the makings of a Thanksgiving feast later this month, the reality is that many of us love the idea of a hearty fall dinner, but don't have much time to put one together. Save the slow-simmering stews and soups for another day and grab your pasta pot. Gnocchi, quick-cooking Italian potato dumplings, are here to save the day:

Now, you can top gnocchi with any number of tasty things — roasted vegetables, grated cheese, crumbled sausage, and more — but I'm offering a very quick four ingredient dish here to show you just how quickly and easily you can get a wonderful dinner on the table. As you get used to making and using gnocchi, feel free to mix up what you add to the pot, but rest assured that you'll have a creamy, hearty dish on hand to enjoy. By the way, gnocchi is also fantastic when added to soups and stews.

If you want to make it a full meal, consider a simple green salad — maybe with some late season spinach — along with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the sauce and a glass of chilled hard cider. After all, 'tis the season for such things. Enjoy a laid back dinner with staying power!

Gnocchi with Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the dried gnocchi, piece by piece, in the water and stir gently until the dumplings float to the top of the pot. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the cream cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.

Slice the sausage into bite-sized coins and add that and the roasted red peppers to the gnocchi. Stir well to combine and serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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