Get the flavor of sausage without all the fat in this recipe for gnocchi with kale sausage by Cook Smarts. This rustic Italian dish combines pillowy gnocchi with a savory, flavorful sausage. Gnocchi plus kale plus sausage is a flavorful combination any modern Italian grandma would be pretty happy to serve.

under 20 mins
lunch dinner

Ingredients for servings

  • Gnocchi

  • 1 pound 95% lean ground beef

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 0.25 teaspoon black pepper

  • 0.5 teaspoon red chili/pepper flakes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 diced medium onion

  • 1 bunch kale leaves and stems separated

  • 1 pound gnocchi

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 0.33 cup tomato paste

  • 0.5 lemon juiced

  • to taste Parmesan cheese Optional


  • Season the ground meat with salt, fennel seeds, black pepper, and red chili flakes. This can be done 1 day ahead.

  • To prepare the gnocchi, bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add gnocchi. Cook according to package instructions. Drain, toss with 2 tbs. of olive oil, and set aside.

  • Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic to heated oil. Once you can smell the garlic, add the kale stems and onions with a dash of salt. Saute until softened or approximately 3 minutes.

  • Add in ground meat and tomato paste, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook meat until brown or approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Add in kale leaves, as much as can fit into the pan. With each addition, add a pinch of salt. Saute until all the kale leaves are in the pan and wilted.

  • Add gnocchi back into the pan, toss everything through, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm with parmesan cheese.

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