Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe: Gnocchi and Pesto

This weekend I decided I wanted to make gnocchi.  Yes, there is a perfectly good prepared kind that you can buy at Trader Joe's but I wanted to cross "make homemade pasta" off my to do list.  I looked up a number of recipes and decided to go with this one from  I had this fear that the gnocchi would just disintegrate upon hitting the boiling water but they all held it together!  The pasta turned out really well although I want to try again and aim for a "lighter" pasta.  Maybe more potato and less flour?

homemade gnocchi before boiling

I also made homemade pesto to serve with the gnocchi.  I like to make a big batch of pesto and either freeze some or set some aside to make a pesto dressing.  My friend Erin also posted a pasta recipe on her blog and I think her sauce would also be really tasty with gnocchi. 



Big bunch of basil (I use an entire container from Trader Joe's)
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
olive oil

Place a small skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Toast garlic, unpeeled, until fragrant and the garlic starts to brown.  Remove the garlic from the pan, let cool, peel and set aside.  Put all ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground and all ingredients have blended.  Continue pulsing while streaming in olive oil to your desired consistency.

Place a few spoonfuls of pesto in the bottom of a large bowl and toss in warm pasta of your choice.  If needed, add a little bit of pasta water to help the pesto combine with the pasta.  Add more pesto as needed.

Pesto dressing: Combine 4 tablespoons of prepared pesto with a splash of red wine vinegar.  Whisk in olive oil to your preferred consistency.  This dressing is particularly good on a chopped romaine salad with pepperoncinis, sliced green olives, artichoke hearts and thinly sliced salami.

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