In general, I’m all for making things at home, from scratch, the old-fashioned way.
But I also think that it isn’t a crime to half-make something. Actually, when it’s a total success, and it’s made of real ingredients, it’s something to be commended: it’s life-hacking. As Ina says, “How bad could that be?”
Today, we’re talking about how to make a gourmet meal at home with a pouch of pre-made ragu and a package of everyday gnocchi.
Boo and I were lucky enough to pick up a pouch of pork ragu from Porter Road Butcher on the way back from a canoeing trip. This stuff is no joke! The sauce is rich, savory, tender, and just beautiful. It’s made of real, local, sustainably grown ingredients. Buy immediately. They also had some Polish kielbasa when we were there — you know what I’m eating this week. If you’re local, call the PRB crew and see if they have any ragu available. If not, I’d also recommend the sauces at Lazzaroli, using the same recipe.
The gnocchi are from the magical land of Trader Joe’s. Quick and user-friendly, this package of gnocchi is about 3 solid servings. Make this recipe for dinner and have a serving for lunch tomorrow too. (Just be sure to store gnocchi and ragu separately so you don’t lose your sear.)
Note on nutrition: If you portion it out appropriately, this meal is decadent without being a gut bomb. If you decide to eat the whole thing… well, #yolo. Go for a nice long walk or something.
To make these two meal components simply dance together, use these three tricks:
- Simmer the ragu for a while with butter;
- Add a splash of the gnocchi water to the ragu before serving; and
- Sear the gnocchi in butter after you boil them to get a beautiful golden sear. This will take your meal from “yummy!” to “HOLY WHAT HAPPENED WOW, should we open a restaurant? We can just sell this stuff.”
For under $15, you too could be enjoying this luxurious, extremely memorable experience. This meal is impressive. Make it for someone who deserves something special.
This ragu would also be excellent with sweet potato gnocchi. I’ll share that recipe if you twist my arm a little. ❤
- 1 package of pork ragu from PRB
- 1 package of potato gnocchi from Trader Joe’s
- 5 tbsp.+ grass-fed butter
- Fresh basil, for serving
- Shaved parmesan, for serving
- Place ragu in a small saucepan with 3-4 tbsp. butter and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Boil water with a pinch of salt in a large pot, and start heating a large skillet for your gnocchi. When water is boiling, add gnocchi to pot. Remove them as they pop up to the top (2-3 minutes).
- Strain gnocchi completely but leave about a cup of gnocchi water — add this to your ragu and allow to simmer for a second.
- In your warm skillet, melt about 2 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Place gnocchi on pan and allow to sear, 1-2 minutes. Toss around and sear a little more. Toss with ragu and serve immediately with shaved parmesan and torn basil. Enjoy. ❤