Potato Gnocchi With Slow Cooker Goose Sauce {Gnocchi Con Sugo d’oca}


Although I am happy to be back in Florida and am enjoying the warm weather, I have had a pretty chaotic past couple of weeks. The first thing that happened was that I fell while harvesting our olives while we were still in Italy which necessitated me having to undergo surgery on my broken wrist last week. My son always tells me that I do not know the meaning of moderation as I always seem to do things to the extreme, and that must hold true when I fracture bones as well because I had a very bad break that had to be stabilized with a plate and ten screws. Today we had to take my sweet little Yorkie to a pet neurologist for an MRI and it turned out that he had a tumor along his spinal cord so we had the very sad decision to let him go. We now have an empty space in our hearts and I cannot imagine not having him running through our house anymore. Quite frankly I have had enough excitement in my life the past couple of weeks to last me a year and am looking forward to life getting back to normal as soon as possible. Luckily I have a few recipes ahead that I made while we were still in Umbria because I am not terribly adept at cooking one-handed just yet!

During our last month in Umbria, our handyman/gardener, gifted us with one of his geese that he butchered for us. Sugo d’oca or goose ragu is a very popular sauce in Umbria and is usually served on top of pappardelle or gnocchi. I was busy closing down our house in preparation of our departure, so I decided to prepare the sauce in my slow cooker. The sauce simmered away for hours, and the aroma was amazing. I also had a handful of colfiorito potatoes that I needed to use up, so I planned to turn them into gnocchi to go along with the sauce. Colfiorito potatoes are a very dense red skinned potato that grown in a small area in Umbria and they are the absolute best potatoes for gnocchi that I have ever used! Here in the states, I use russet or Yukon Gold potatoes for my gnocchi but I prefer using those amazing Umbrian potatoes whenever I can. I also prefer to bake my potatoes rather than boil them which I find keeps the potatoes drier allowing me to use less flour which creates a lighter, more tender gnocchi. If you are new to making potato gnocchi, you might find my tutorial How To Make Potato Gnocchi Step by Step helpful. If you would prefer pasta, pappardelle or fettuccine would also be delicious with this sauce.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2015

Potato Gnocchi With Slow Cooker Goose Sauce {Gnocchi Con Sugo d’oca}

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1 Small Goose (2 1/2 to 3 Pounds), Cut Into Pieces
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Carrots, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Dry Red Wine
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 (26 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Recipe Potato Gnocchi

To Serve:

  • Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat half the olive oil until lightly smoking, then brown all of the goose pieces on all sides in batches over medium high heat.
  2. Place the goose into the slow cooker.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and once hot, add the onions, celery, and carrots.
  4. Cook the vegetables over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the wine to the pan, and cook over medium high heat scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
  7. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the duck pieces, the add the paste, broth, tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and parsley.
  8. Stir to mix, then set your slow cooker on high for 1 hour.
  9. Turn the slow cooker down to low, and cook for an additional 5 hours.
  10. Taste the sauce, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  11. Take the duck pieces from the slow cooker and use a fork to remove the meat from the bones.
  12. Return the meat to the slow cooker and discard the bones.
  13. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the gnocchi until they float.
  14. Drain the gnocchi and return to the pot.
  15. Add a few ladles of sauce to the gnocchi and gently toss to coat the gnocchi with the sauce.
  16. Serve the gnocchi in individual bowl with a spoonful of sauce on top.
  17. Pass the grated cheese at the table.