Basil Pesto with Gnocchi

Pesto is my go-to savour! I just love how simple it is and flavoursome. Pasta is usually my comfort food and when I want to make it that lil bit more effort-some I make it myself and SOMETIMES the pasta too. It’s usually my cheat speedy meal so I don’t always do it, but here is a recipe if you are feeling like making something from scratch but also don’t want to go overboard with effort levels.

pestoBasil Pesto
This pesto is made from basil and pine nuts, but you can make it with rocket and walnuts eg. there are loads of variations so you don’t need to stick to the usual.

50g Pine Nuts
Large bunch of fresh Basil
50g Parmesan
150ml Olive Oil
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 Garlic Cloves

I usually make mine in a food processor but you can also make it in a pestle and mortar too, I usually don’t simply because it’s too small. Pulse the Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Basil leaves, use short pulses as you don’t want to bash the flavour out of the basil.

Pop in the pine nuts and pulse again, then pour this mixture into a bowl or jar. Add in your cheese and oil and stir until it all comes together. You may need to add more seasoning, or a little bit more oil etc. Let your taste buds decide what to add in more of. This keeps really well in a jar in the fridge, I have a constant supply for adding into anything tomatoey or salady.

These are lovely little pillows of joy made from good quality potatoes. You can always buy your own Gnocchi I just sometimes prefer to make my own as it can be less waxy.

gnocchi pesto
Ingredients for Gnocchi
1kg starchy potatoes
coarse sea salt, for baking
100g plain flour
sea salt and black pepper
2 egg yolks

To make the Gnocchi, first preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Sprinkle the sea salt over the baking tray so you create a layer of salt and place the potatoes on top. Prick the potatoes with a knife or fork to let out some of the juices during cooking.  Bake for 1 hour or until soft (check with a knife to see if it slides through)

Allow to cool slightly, then cut in half and scoop all the insides of the potato into a bowl. I then used a potato ricer but mashing them may work the same. On a clean surface place the potato, flour, salt and pepper into a mound. Then make a well in the centre so as to aim to look like this, or something similar. Mix slowly the ingredients into each other, a little at a time and when all is incorporated begin to knead. Do not over work the dough as this will make heavier Gnocchi, just under a minute or until everything is smooth and comes together. Divide into 4 equal batches and roll each piece into a sausage shape and until you have the desired thickness. Cut into 2cm long pieces and place on a lightly floured tray.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and cook the Gnocchi in batches. They only need about 3mins, when they all have floated to the top, you know they’re ready. Toss the basil pesto (or any sauce of your choice) around the Gnocchi and serve straight away.

Relish in the joy of looking like you went to tonnes of effort when really you didn’t.


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