Sausage Gnocchi and Leek Mini Pot Pies

Sausage Gnocchi and Leek Mini Pot Pies


1 1/2 pound Italian sausage links, skin removed

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, 
2 1/2 cup leek, sliced into 1/8-inch thick
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
2 3/4 cups water 
4 teaspoons sodium free chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 pound package gnocchi
2 teaspoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoon water for slurry
Pie crust recipe here or 2 9-inch store bought pie crusts


Prior to preparing the filling, make pie dough. Divide into 4 equal portions. Form into 1-inch discs. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Add oil to a preheated a 4-quart pan on medium to medium high heat. Add sausage, breaking into small chunks as it browns, about 8-10 minutes. Reduce to medium low. Take pan off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage onto a paper towel lined plate. Keep just enough fat in the pan to coat the bottom. 

Return pan to back to heat. Add leek and garlic. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir to loosen up bits from the bottom of the pan halfway through. Add 2 tablespoons of water if leek or garlic begins to brown.

Increase heat to medium high. Add water, bouillon, pepper, and sugar. Once liquid comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes.

Add gnocchi. Stir and submerge into the liquid. Bring heat back to medium high. Cover. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes. Stir cornstarch slurry. Add to pan and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Spoon into four 10-ounce ramekins or oven safe soup bowls. Allow to cool slightly while rolling out the pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 375° F. 

Remove pie dough from the refrigerator. If the dough has been refrigerated for a long period of time, it will be firm. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften to a workable consistency. If using store bought dough that is no more than 1/8-inch thick, form into a disc and knead to 3/8-inch thickness.

Lightly flour a work surface. Place one of the pie crust discs on the work surface. Lightly flour the top. Using a standard rolling pin, roll dough to 3/16-inch thickness and 1-inch wider than the circumference of the top of the ramekin. 

Dust a light coating of flour to both sides of the dough. Switch over to a an embossed rolling pin. Start on one edge of the dough and roll across to the opposite edge, applying a moderate and even amount of pressure to create an embossed pattern. Lift dough and place over one of the ramekins. Trim uneven edges. Tuck edges into the sides or crimp as desired. Using a sharp pointed knife, score the pie dough to create air vents. Place ramekins on a large baking sheet.

Gently fold down the outer 1-inch edge of the pie shield (see below for instructions on how to make). Spray the underside with cooking spray. Center the opening over the the pie crust. Continue rolling out and applying the remaining pie crusts. 

Place the baking sheet with the ramekin in the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate  the baking sheet 180°.  Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove foil. Rotate baking sheet 180° again. Bake for 10 additional minutes or until the edges develop a light golden color. Remove from oven. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Notes
  1. To prepare leeks: discard the dark green leaves and the root ends; slice the base in half vertically. Cut into 1/8-inch slices. Wash and drain well. 
  2. The Italian sausages have ample amount of salt. There is no need to add salt to this recipe. 
  3. If using homemade pie crust, make the dough and chill before working on the filling.
  4. To make a pie shield: Cut out 4 rounds of aluminum foil that are 1 1/2-inch wider than the circumference of the top of the ramekin. Cut out a donut hole 3/4-inch smaller than the diameter of the top of ramekin. Use the outer rings as the shield.
  5. More oil might be needed if not using non stick pan.
  6. I don't recommend swapping out water for chicken broth or stock, even low sodium. It will be too salty.