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 

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

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

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes

Making this meaty goose sauce in the slow cooker is so easy it will turn out amazing every time!


  • 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


  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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g

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  1. I sure am sorry about the health issues that have plagued you and your treasured little Yorkie. I hope you are all better very soon. After all, how can you make Christmas ravioli and Christmas cookies with broken bones!

    This sounds divine for the cooler weather. Goose ragu! What a treat!

    Get well fast!

  2. Broken bones are a pain, Had surgery including plates and screws on my right ankle back in April. Nothing like falling, looking down, and seeing your foot facing the wrong way. But 6 months later, things are good. Listen to your doctors, do what they say, and then follow up with physical therapy. PT was a godsend and much of the reason I am pretty much back to normal.

    Also understand on the pet since I lost two cats about a year ago. They were 18 years old. But we now have two lovely tabbies that are sweet and snuggly who were great company when I was stuck at home with the broken ankle. They kind of miss when I was home all the time.

    This sounds delicious. It’s beginning to get a little cool and rainy in the Chicago area, so this recipe would be a tasty one. Warmth for the soul kind of food.

  3. Hi Deborah,
    I am so sorry about your broken wrist and also your little Yorkie. Please try to rest and we’ll keep you in our prayers. I have enjoyed your recipes very much. I started reading your website earlier this year. I’m American of Italian decent and am grateful for your sharing Italy with all of us.
    Greetings From Central Pennsylvania!

  4. Ciao Deborah,

    So sorry to hear about Luca and your wrist. I told Natalie and Paul and please know that you will be in our prayers.
    I always look forward to reading your newsletter and dream about returning to Umbria someday.
    This recipe looks amazing, as they all do. I was wondering if you could substitute chicken for the goose?
    Please say hello to Louie.
    The Montalbano Family

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