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Pesto Gnocchi

Gnocchi al Pesto Genovese

Light and fluffy gnocchi are served in an aromatic, basil pesto in this simple summer dish.


Gnocchi al Pesto Genovese

Serves 4

Special Equipment

Potato ricer
Gnocchi board
Mortar and pestle or food porcessor

Ingredients

1 pound (450 grams) fresh potato gnocchi

For the pesto: 

1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons pine nuts (sub with cashews if you can’t find)
5-6 cups of fresh basil leaves (Italian basil, Genovese variety)
Kosher salt, adjust to taste
4 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
½ cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil, mild intensity

Method

Prepare the fresh potato gnocchi (see recipe here).

To prepare the pesto alla genovese: 

If using a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until green paste forms and there are no longer any large leaves or chunks of cheese.

If using a mortar and pestle, add the ingredients one at a time in this order.

First, add the garlic and pine nuts. Grind until the consistency of shortbread dough. The paste should hold together when pinched between two fingers. Remove the paste and set aside.

Next, add the basil leaves and salt. Crush in a circular motion with a pestle until you have a green paste.

Add in the garlic paste to the crushed basil and grind together. Finally, add in the grated cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzling the olive oil in last will help clean off any bits of pesto on your pestle and the sides of your mortar.

Taste and adjust as needed. If too garlicky, add in a bit more pine nuts. If too salty, remember not to salt your pasta water as much to balance out the flavor.

Gnocchi al Pesto

Prep Time: 60 Minutes
Cooking Time: 5 Minutes
Total time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Servings: 4
Pesto Gnocchi

Ingredients

.
  • 1 pound (450 grams) fresh potato gnocchi
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts (sub with cashews if you can’t find)
  • 5-6 cups of fresh basil leaves (Italian basil, Genovese variety)
  • Kosher salt, adjust to taste
  • 4 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
  • ½ cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil, mild intensity

Instructions

1. Prepare the fresh potato gnocchi. (See recipe link above.)
2. If using a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until green paste forms and there are no longer any large leaves or chunks of cheese.
3. If using a mortar and pestle, add the ingredients one at a time in this order.
4. First, add the garlic and pine nuts. Grind until the consistency of shortbread dough. The paste should hold together when pinched between two fingers. Remove the paste and set aside.
5. Next, add the basil leaves and salt. Crush in a circular motion with a pestle until you have a green paste.
6. Add in the garlic paste to the crushed basil and grind together. Finally, add in the grated cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzling the olive oil in last will help clean off any bits of pesto on your pestle and the sides of your mortar.
7. Taste and adjust as needed. If too garlicky, add in a bit more pine nuts. If too salty, remember not to salt your pasta water as much to balance out the flavor.
8. Cook the gnocchi in a pot of salted, boiling water. Once they rise to the surface, add them to a bowl with the pesto. Mix until all the gnocchi are coated in the pesto. Serve immediately.
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Gnocchi can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours and in the freezer for up to 1 month. To freeze, place an uncovered tray of gnocchi in the freezer for 30 minutes, until gnocchi are hard. Transfer gnocchi to a plastic bag and seal well. Put back in the freezer to store. Do not thaw gnocchi: cook directly from the freezer in a pot of salted, boiling water.

Pesto can also be stored in the fridge or freezer. To keep in the fridge, place in a jar and top with a little bit of olive oil to preserve the flavor and color. Store in fridge for 5-6 days. Alternatively, add pesto to ice cube trays and freeze. Let defrost completely (do not heat) before using.

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