Gnocchi al pesto
- July 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 45 min, simmering time 40 minutes, plus cooling
Barbara Gallani’s homemade gnocchi recipe has been handed-down by her mother. For Barbara, it evokes memories of her Italian grandmother’s kitchen filled with women and girls preparing gnocchi for celebratory feasts.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 17.1g (3.7g saturated)
- 83.3g (2.7g sugars)
- 1.5kg medium floury potatoes (the delicious. team used maris piper)
- 1 large free-range egg
- 280g plain flour, plus extra and for dusting
For the pesto
- 1 large bunch fresh basil
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp pine nuts, plus a few extra to serve
- 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 50g finely grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), plus extra to serve
- Cook the potatoes (skin-on) in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 40 minutes until soft. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then peel. Put in a bowl and mash, then set aside to cool completely.
- Mix the egg and flour into the potatoes with a pinch of salt. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes, adding more flour if it feels too sticky.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, roll into cylinders roughly 2cm in diameter, then cut each one into equal pieces about 2cm long.
- If you want the gnocchi to have ridges, gently push each piece against the concave tines of a fork, then create an indentation with your thumb as you roll it off the fork. Put the gnocchi (ridged or unridged) onto a tray sprinkled with flour.
- For the pesto, put most of the basil, the garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a mini food processor and whizz to a smooth sauce (see food team’s tip). Add the grated cheese and mix well.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Working in batches, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook for a few minutes. They’re ready when they float to the surface. Lift them out with a slotted spoon into a large bowl while you boil the rest of the gnocchi, then mix with the pesto and serve with extra parmesan, a few pine nuts and the reserved basil leaves on top.
The amount of flour needed depends on the type of potato, so have extra flour at the ready. Instead of plain flour you can use wholemeal or rye flour – the gnocchi will be darker and firmer.
If you don’t have a mini food processor to make the pesto use a stick blender or pestle and mortar – or chop the ingredients as finely as possible by hand.
Freeze the gnocchi on trays, then transfer to a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen, as below.
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