How to Make Maggiano's Gnocchi and Italian Sausage

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Maggiano's Gnocchi and Italian Sausage

The chefs at Maggiano’s Little Italy are passionate about the food they serve. A recent addition to their menu is the Maggiano’s Gnocchi and Italian Sausage recipe, a twist on their famous Gnocchi with Tomato Vodka Sauce. Prepared with purchased gnocchi, this recipe cooks up quickly. Serve it with a garden salad for a satisfying weekday dinner.

Gnocchi.jpgFlickr: dionhinchcliffe
Offered by Maggiano’s Little Italy
Customer service phone 800-983-4637[1]
Served as Main dish
Main ingredients Gnocchi, tomatoes, vodka
Cooking method Stovetop
Similar to Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Veronese
Author Julie Clark

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Maggiano’s Gnocchi and Italian Sausage Ingredients

  • 1 lb. store-bought gnocchi
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. reserved water from pasta[2]
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 c. vodka[2]
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage[3]
  • 1 tbsp. garlic butter[3]
  • 3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 5 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated Asiago cheese, for serving[3]

Maggiano’s Gnocchi and Italian Sausage Recipe

  1. Boil water in a large pot to cook gnocchi. Place gnocchi in the pot. The gnocchi is done when they float to the top. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ c. cooking water.
  2. Puree half the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Coarsely chop the remaining tomatoes, removing seeds and cores. Place pureed and chopped tomatoes in a liquid measuring cup and add reserved tomato liquid to equal 2 cups.[4]
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Add onion and tomato paste. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds while stirring constantly.
  5. Add tomatoes and ½ tsp. salt.
  6. Remove the pan from the burner to add the vodka. Return pan to medium-high heat and simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the alcohol flavor has cooked off. Lower the heat if the sauce simmers too vigorously.[4]
  7. Stir in heavy cream and cook for about 1 minute, until it is heated through.
  8. Add sliced sausage, basil, 3 tbsp. parsley, and garlic butter to the sauce.
  9. Simmer the sauce until the sausage is cooked through. [3]
  10. Add cooked gnocchi to the sauce and simmer for an additional 30 seconds. Toss gnocchi to coat with sauce. [3] Add reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.[2]
  11. Serve gnocchi with Asiago cheese and remaining fresh chopped parsley as garnish.

Maggiano’s Gnocchi and Italian Sausage Using A Simple Marinara Sauce

Cooks who would prefer an alcohol-free sauce can use this simple tomato sauce instead.


  • Food historians agree that vodka sauce belongs to a category called Nuevo Cucina, meaning “New Cuisine,” and that it originated in New York City sometime in the 1970s.[5]
  • The first mention of vodka sauce in American newspapers is attributed to The New York Times in the early 1980s, "Pasta with sweet red pepper sauce, pasta with salmon, pasta with sage sauce, pasta with vodka sauce--and this is just the beginning..."
 Diner's Choice, Bryan Miller, New York Times, October 7, 1983, p. C18.[6]
  • Cooks making this recipe should note that a small percentage of alcohol will remain in the dish once it is completed. Studies have shown that a recipe using spirits with an alcohol content higher than 5 percent will result in a final product with approximately 5 percent alcohol.[7]

Also See: How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Veronese, How to Make Buca di Beppo Gnocchi al Telefono, How to Make Olive Garden Italian Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Herb Parmesan Cream Sauce, How to Make Maggiano's Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake, How to Make Olive Garden Salad


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