- 1 pound mild or hot ground Italian sausage
- 3 tablespoons + ¼ cup olive oil, separated
- 1 can (28 ounces) CRUSHED tomatoes, the higher the quality of these, the better it will taste!
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 sprig Fresh basil
- 2 packages (16 ounces EACH) mini potato gnocchi
- Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, additional fresh basil
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Form very small “meatballs” with the ground Italian sausage. We’re not adding anything to the sausage, just rolling it into small balls.
- In a large nonstick skillet, add 1 and ½ tablespoons olive oil. Heat to medium high and then add in about ½ of the meatballs. Gently turn the meatballs over and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they are browned (but not cooked through). Remove to a plate. Add another 1 and ½ tablespoons oil and repeat with the rest of the meatballs. Remove the rest of those meatballs to the plate. Quickly wipe out the skillet.
- In the same skillet, add remaining ¼ cup olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add in the canned tomatoes. Pour 1 cup water into the can of tomatoes and slosh around to get the rest of the tomatoes. Pour that into the skillet as well. Add dried oregano, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste). Stir. Add 1 sprig of basil and submerge it in the sauce.
- Add the cooked meatballs into the mixture and gently stir until they are covered in the sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and again, or until completely cooked through. Discard the basil sprig.
- Meanwhile, prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain.
- Top the gnocchi with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with fresh basil, additional cracked pepper, & freshly grated Parmesan cheese