Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi Bake
You know what’s better than a warming, (fairly) healthy, bowl of carby comfort food? Nothing.
I feel like I should be eating some more salad because yayspring and all of the light, healthy food, but apparently the British weather is having other ideas and, I mean, have we ever had a worse Spring weather wise? I think not. So, as it’s sleeting in May, I reckon I can get away with a winter inspired comfort food recipe. It’s got spinach in it – it’s practically a salad, am I right?
So whining about the weather aside; this is maximum happy-belly food with minimum effort. I think the hardest part of this recipe is dicing the onions, and unless you’re planning on doing that with a spoon, that ain’t hard.
I’m also eating less meat this month: yes, yes, goodbye Friday Bacon and M1 McDonalds. I feel like I’ve really let my meaty morals slip lately and in the spirit of getting on top of my mental health, my physical health and looking after myself, I feel like eating less/no meat is a good place to start. Obviously, you can switch the veggie bad boys to the real deal, they’ll cook through in the oven so no need to cook them before hand even if they are meaty beasties.
This will feed 3-4.
2 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
6 Veggie Sausages – I used Linda Mcartney ones, but Quorn or Supermarket Own Brand will be just as yum. (They also need to be defrosted)
1 Vegetable Stock Cube
Large Clove of Garlic
1 Medium Red Onion, finely diced.
150g Fresh Spinach – about half a bag of a standard bag that you find lurking in the salad section.
Grab your onion, half it and dice it as finely as you can. Chuck it into a large, heavy based pan. On a medium heat, fry gently. I tend to add about half a cup of water and a large pinch of sugar, just to get the onion soft and sweet without frying them in loads of oil and risking them sticking whilst I’m mincing garlic.
When the onions have reduced down and very very little water is left – (this will take about 5 minutes) – throw in the garlic that you’ve sliced/grated/crushed. Mix it into the onions and fry very gently for 2 or 3 minutes, give it a poke every now and then.
When the garlic and onions are nicely soft and smelling uhmazing, tip in the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Turn the heat up very slightly, just so it doesn’t take 15,000 years for the tomatoes to reduce.
Crumble in the vegetable stock cube, add some salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
After 25 – 30 minutes the sauce should be thick and glossy, give it a taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn the heat either down, or off, and stir through the spinach until it’s wilted – the remaining heat from the sauce will usually be enough to wilt this, and then stir through the gnocchi until everything is coated.
Grab a lasagne type dish, and tip the saucy gnocchi into it. Press the sausages into the top, with about half soaking up the sauce, and the top half left to cook and brown.
Tear off mozzarella and scatter over the top, add a grind of pepper (because it looks pretty and you can never have enough pepper), and a scattering of rosemary springs.
The pops of fresh rosemary laced through the pasta sauce is amazing, if the sauce if cooked with rosemary I find the taste rather overwhelming.
Whack it in the oven for about 40 minutes, on 180°C or gas mark 6.
Serve as is, with garlic bread and salad, or with buttery greens.