I LOVE gnocchi, and I mean I looooove it. I would eat it multiple times a week if I could. I’m always trying to find new ways to cook with it too, like my Cauliflower Gnocchi Cheese Bake. This time, I’ve kept it nice and classic, served simply with a homemade basil pesto.
If you don’t fancy making gnocchi (even though it’s much easier than you think it is), then shop bought is totally fine. And if you’re only here for the gnocchi recipe, you can simply use shop-bought pesto if you don’t fancy making your own, although I always think homemade tastes better than the stuff out of a jar!
Homemade Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
4 baking potatoes (about 1.5kg)
175g plain flour
Salt & pepper
For the pesto:
25g pine nuts
1 garlic clove
30g pecorino, grated
45g parmesan, grated
Large bunch basil leaves
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 180c fan. Place your potatoes on a baking tray and prick them all over with a knife, then bake for 45-60 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, then scoop the flesh out and pass through a ricer or mash them in a large bowl until mostly smooth.
2. To the bowl, add the flour, egg and some salt and pepper and mix to form a soft dough. Put some flour on a work surface and form the dough into a rough ball. Cut the dough into quarters and, one piece at a time, use your hands to gently roll each quarter into a log about 1 inch wide. Use a sharp knife to cut it into little pillows, then set them aside on a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and repeat with the remaining quarters. Dust lightly with flour and place in the fridge until you need them.
3. For the pesto, put a small, dry frying pan on over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Put the pine nuts in a food processor or blender and blitz, then add the garlic clove and blitz again. Add your basil and cheese and blend again until it just comes together. Put the blender back on and in a steady stream, add the extra virgin olive oil. You can add a little more or less, depending on what texture you prefer.
4. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Drop in your gnocchi (do this in batches if you have to) and cook for a couple of minutes until they float. DO NOT STIR THE GNOCCHI or they will stick together.
5. While they are cooking, put a large, non-stick frying pan on over a medium-high heat with a little olive oil. Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and place directly into the pan and cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Again, don’t stir! Just use the handle to gently toss the gnocchi. This isn’t a necessary step, but I prefer the texture of them pan fried.
6. Add the pesto and toss gently to combine. Serve up with some extra parmesan grated over and dig in!