Every weekend, before I leave for the grocery store, I ask my husband if there’s anything he wants for dinner that week. He doesn’t usually have strong feelings any one way or the other, but occasionally, he’ll put in a request for one of his favorites. The other day, he asked for risotto. “Oh,” I told him, “We haven’t had that in a while because it involves standing at the stove.”
And that’s the truth. What we’ve been eating involves me prepping something, and walking away while it cooks. But the other reason we haven’t had risotto recently is because you can’t really freeze it for later. I’m in the midst of stocking my freezer like there’s no tomorrow in preparation for a busy spring.
I did add risotto to the meal plan for the week ahead when he asked. I did not move slow cooker gnocchi in creamy pork sauce from that night’s menu. It meets both of my current cooking criteria in that it is a dump and walk away dish, and can easily be frozen for later. It feels like something fancy that you’d order from a restaurant, but it’s going to become a staple in our dinner rotation. I doubled the gnocchi the original recipe calls for because it was too meat-heavy for me.
To make slow cooker gnocchi for an army, you will need:
- 1 onion, small diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 lb. pork shoulder
- 2, 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 C heavy cream or half and half
- 4 lbs. dried gnocchi*
Put the onion and garlic in the bottom of a large slow cooker (this is probably the most I’ve ever filled mine). Place the pork shoulder, fat side up, on top. Pour one can of crushed tomatoes on top of the pork, and sprinkle with pepper. I used crushed tomatoes with basil, but if you’re using plan, this could be a great opportunity to add some dried basil and/or oregano. Pour the other can of tomatoes on top. Cook on low for about 10 hours. At that point, stir in the cream and gnocchi, and cook another hour. Serve with gobs of Parmesan cheese.
*It’s super important that you use dried, as opposed to fresh gnocchi, in order for it not to turn to mush. My grocery store carries DeLallo dried gnocchi in the pasta aisle, and that’s what I used here. I suppose if you could only find fresh gnocchi, you could cook it separately, and spoon the sauce on top.