This recipe for Italian sausage and gnocchi casserole is easy to put together with a moreish combination of spicy Italian sausage in a tomato sauce dotted with ricotta and tender gnocchi.
Serve with garlic or herb bread.
Continue reading for money saving tips and gluten and dairy free options. There is also a PDF version of this recipe at the end of the post which can be printed or saved to your device to save on paper.
*The Nutrition Facts label above should be used as a guide only. The amounts can change depending on the brands you use. To reduce the fat content always try to buy reduced fat products and lean meat when you can afford it. Look for reduced salt products and low sugar without artificial sugar replacements.
This beautiful casserole dish from Emile Henry in Twilight Blue is resistant against temperature change and is easy to clean. It is highly rated and great value on Amazon. (Paid link)
Gluten and Dairy Free Options
To make this recipe for Italian sausage and gnocchi casserole gluten free; buy gluten free gnocchi which is commonly available either in the pasta section or health food section of your supermarket. It is also a good idea to check the sausage and ricotta ingredients for gluten.
To make this recipe dairy free; use lactose free ricotta or if you can’t find it replace the ricotta with lactose free cottage cheese. If you can’t tolerate dairy at all simply leave out the ricotta. This casserole will still be good without it. Replace the mozzarella cheese with a dairy free cheese. Alternatively the casserole can be topped with 1 cup of breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon of dairy free margarine.
Buy Italian sausage in bulk when you see them on special then freeze in 1 pound (500g) portions. They will freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost mode on your microwave.
Passata Sauce or Tomato Puree
Pantry basics such as passata sauce and tomato puree will last for up to 2 years when stored in a cool dark place. They can be used as the basis for many casseroles and sauces. Buy in bulk to save money when you see the best specials.
Zucchini is a must have plant for the summer garden. One plant will give you an endless supply over the warmer months making it a valuable plant to grow. See this guide to Growing Zucchini from Seed for more information.
Normally it is cheaper to make things from scratch however gnocchi can be a difficult and time consuming food to master. Get it wrong and they can turn into dense heavy balls.
Dried gnocchi is found in the pasta isle and is a great alternative without costing too much especially when you see it on special. It is also a handy item to have in the cupboard for when you run out of potatoes.
This 6 pack of Potato Gnocchi is made using a traditional Italian recipe and is highly rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
This guide to Creating Budget Friendly Meals covers everything from planning to making the most of in season vegetables and meat to using raw ingredients to create healthy and nutritious meals which cost less to make. A little forethought can save you a great deal of money over the course of the year.
From preserving food to creating homewares from scraps, this Homesteading guide can help you get creative with what you have.
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