You really can't beat a fresh homemade pesto with "pillowy", light and fluffy gnocchi. Enough said. Recipe below...
Large bunch of basil (roughly 60g)
50 grams pine nuts (toasted)
1 clove of garlic
30g parmesan (grated)
30g pecorino (grated)
3 tbsps olive oil
333g / 2 large fluffy (not waxy) potatoes
100g plain flour
1. Using pestle and mortar, crush up your basil.
2. Once crushed, add the garlic and repeat.
3. Next add the parmesan, pecorino and pine nuts. Mix and crush until the pine nuts have mostly broken down. I like to have some chunks still left in there but this is down to personal preference.
4. Add some olive oil and mix until you reach the desired consistency. If you would like the pesto to be saltier, simply add a little more parmesan.
1. Begin by baking the potatoes in an oven of 200 degrees celcius for roughly an hour (depending on size), until cooked through.
2. Once baked, scoop out the inside of the potatoes and pass through a potato ricer (use a sieve and spoon as good alternative).
2. Add the egg to the potato and then gradually incorporate the flour. Kneed the dough until fully incorporated (It does not need to be worked like pasta dough - be careful not to over-kneed. This way the gnocchi will stay light and “pillowy”).
3. Once ready, divide the dough up and roll out into strands until roughly 1/2 inch thick. Then go ahead and cut into gnocchi, roughly 1 inch wide. If you’re feeling fancy, use a ridged gnocchi paddle to get nice grooves along your gnocchi - more importantly this helps the sauce stick to the gnocchi.
4. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the gnocchi. Once the gnocchi rises to the surface, cook for a further 2 minutes and strain. If you are looking to fry the gnocchi, like I did, the strain immediately once it comes to the surface.
5. To fry the gnocchi, simply melt some butter in a saucepan and once foaming, add in the gnocchi. Cook until a nice golden brown.
Simply toss the gnocchi in some of the fresh pesto, top with grated parmesan and enjoy. If you’re looking to go that bit further, you can plate it up by spreading some pesto on a plate with a spoon. Place your gnocchi on top of the pesto and garnish with some finely chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan and a parmesan crisp. To make a parmesan crisp simply grate some parmesan onto a lined baking try and cook at 180 degrees Celsius until melted and starting to crisp. Remove from oven and leave to completely cool before serving.