Gnocchi with Lamb Sausage and Kale

During a wine-and-dine Porcellino's Passport to Oregon experience last week (write-up is coming soon!), I couldn't stop staring at the restaurant's back wall, boasting butcher cuts and homemade pastas and gelatos. I was fantasizing the next dinner party.

Fast-forward a few days, and I'm enjoying Porcellino's duck prosciutto with goat cheese, luscious Oregon red wine, and Barese lamb sausage over their fresh-made baby gnocchi. It was heavenly and quite special, considering 80% of ingredients were locally sourced and prepared. I encourage supporting the local butchers, bakers and culinary artists in your community; they make dinner at home that much more delicious and that much more valuable.

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Makes 4 entrée servings

1 pound gnocchi 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 shallot, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound Italian lamb sausage (from Porcellino's), casings removed 1 pinch crushed red pepper 1/4 cup red wine 10 cups kale, roughly chopped Salt and pepper 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add shallot and sauté until soft, approximately 4 minutes. Add garlic and sausage and, with a wooden spoon, break down into bits. Continue to sauté until sausage is browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add kale and red wine, seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss until kale is bright green and wilted.

3. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in salted boiling water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 2/3 cup pasta water when draining.

4. Add gnocchi to sausage and kale mixture, as well as enough pasta water to create a thin sauce. Remove from heat. Add cheese and a bit of extra olive oil. Serve immediately with extra parmesan.

Inspired by Bev Cooks