1 Tbsp Trefethen extra virgin olive oil (for cooking pasta)
1 lb Italian sausage, crumbled
1 Tbsp Trefethen extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
24 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried fennel
grated parmesan for topping
1To make the gnocchi, bring water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir, beating dough forcefully and rapidly to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Continue cooking until dough pulls away from sides of pot.
2Transfer hot dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add mustard and cheese and beat on medium-low speed. Add eggs one at a time, allowing dough to fully incorporate egg before adding the next one. When all eggs have been used, add herbs and beat to combine. Transfer mixture to a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip
3Let mixture rest 15-25 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer and have a rimmed baking sheet ready. If using a zipper-lock bag, cut off a 1/2-inch opening in one corner. Holding the bag over the boiling water, squeeze the mixture out of the bag, cutting it off with a paring knife into 1-inch lengths and letting them fall directly into the simmering water. Continue cutting off as many as you can in one minute, then stop.
4Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all gnocchi have floated to the top and are fully cooked in the center. Lift gnocchi with a fine mesh strainer or a metal spider and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining dough. Cooled gnocchi can be refrigerated until ready to continue cooking.
5To make the sauce, add olive oil and sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside, leaving the oil behind. Add garlic and onion to the oil and cook over medium heat until nicely browned. Pour in crushed tomato and add salt, black pepper, basil, fennel, and cooked sausage. Simmer uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of Trefethen olive oil to the pan and heat. Add enough gnocchi to the pan to cover the bottom without crowding, letting them sear undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Shake pan and sear for another 30 seconds. Cover pasta with sauce and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
7Spoon cooked gnocchi into your favorite bowl or plate and finish freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!