Pane Carasau Sardinian Gnocchi Lamb Stew


Typically Sardinian Gnocchi is made with semolina flour and a pinch of saffron. The texture of these gnocchi is a little chewier than potato or regular flour gnocchi. Saffron is given here as an option because it is the world’s most expensive spice; but with or without the saffron you will find these gnocchi interestingly different and delicious.


Makes: 4 - 6 servings


Pinch saffron

½ cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups semolina flour

1 teaspoon salt



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped

¾ pound Italian sausage, casing removed.

2 (16 ounce cans) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grated parmesan cheese


Dissolve the saffron in the water and add the oil to the water. Combine the flour and salt. Heap the flour into a mound on a large clean dry board or work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour about half of the water into the well. With a fork gradually draw in the flour from the inside of the well. As the mixture begins to thicken, start mixing with your hands. Add the water a little at a time, as needed. Knead the dough by pressing away from you with the heel of you hands and then fold it over toward you and repeat this kneading action until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. While the gnocchi is resting make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large fry pan or sauté pan over medium heat, until hot. Sauté the onions until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sun dried tomatoes and sauté 1 minute. Add the sausage and break it up into small pieces with a fork and sauté until the sausage is well browned. Add all the remaining ingredients except the grated cheese. Stir well and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering bring a large pot of salted water to a full rolling boil and form the gnocchi. To form the gnocchi, cut the dough into 4 equal size pieces. On a lightly floured board roll each piece into a ¾ inch diameter rope. Cut the ropes into ½ inch pieces. Hold a table fork sideways, leaning on the board. One by one press each piece of dough lightly along the tines of the fork toward the points, making ridges on one side and a depression from your thumb on the other side to from the gnocchi. Drop about half of the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the top, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon scoop them out and add them to the fry pan with the sauce. Cook the remaining gnocchi and then add them to the sauce. Cook the gnocchi in the sauce for an additional minute or so.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.



This ragu can be used over your favorite pasta as well as ravioli or other types of prepared or store bought gnocchi or cavetelli.



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