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Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Total Time: 3 hours

Serving Size: 2-4 servings


Potato Gnocchi:

  • 2 russet potatoes

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup ‘00’ flour

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Basil Pesto:

  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed

  • 3 oz. baby spinach

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Potato Gnocchi:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool.

  2. Peel the potatoes and then run each potato through a potato ricer two times.

  3. Refrigerate the riced potatoes for a minimum of 1 hour to further cool. This will prevent the potatoes from absorbing too much flour, which will make the gnocchi more dense.

  4. Once the potatoes have cooled, add them to a work surface along with the egg yolks and salt. Slowly mix in the flour and knead until a smooth dough has formed.

  5. Divide the dough into 4-5 sections and roll out each section into long pieces (about 3/4 in. wide). Cut into tiny pillows with a bench scraper to form the gnocchi.

  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook the gnocchi until it floats to the top, about 2-3 minutes.

Basil Pesto:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the spinach for about 30 seconds. Remove using a spider strainer and place directly into a bowl of ice water to cool.

  2. Squeeze out any excess liquids and add to a food processor along with the basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmigiano and salt.

  3. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients are well blended and the pesto is the consistency you would like. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to brighten the pesto and help keep it from turning dark in color.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook the gnocchi until it floats to the top, about 1-2 minutes. Strain and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.

  5. Add the gnocchi directly to a large sauté pan along with the pesto sauce and 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss over medium heat. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

  6. Plate and top with more grated Parmigiano and serve!


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