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Gnocchi with Pesto


Gnocchi is fun to make but takes time and patience. You can cook the gnocchi unshaped if rolling and shaping seems intimidating.

Chef Andrew King, da Maurizio Fine Dining

Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew King, da Maurizio Fine Dining


For basil pesto:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For pasta:
  • 4 large waxy-style potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs, 1.1 kg), peeled and cut into sixths
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) plus 2 Tbsp
  • (30 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) fine salt
  • generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmigiano, for sprinkling


  1. In a food processor, purée basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and salt. Drizzle in oil until incorporated. Season with pepper. Can store in refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for up to a month.
  2. For the gnocchi, place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Rice the potatoes with a ricer onto parchment-lined baking sheet in even layer. Let cool.
  4. Transfer potatoes to large bowl, gently mix in flour, yolks, salt, nutmeg and pepper until forming a soft dough. Don’t over mix.
  5.  On a well floured surface, divide dough into 6 equal parts. With the palms of both hands, gently roll each into a “rope” 3/4-inches (2 cm) in diameter. Cut each rope on an angle into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces.
  6. Hold salad fork at a 45-degree angle with tines curving up. Place piece of dough at the top of the tines and hold in place with your free thumb. In one gentle motion, press and roll the dough along tines, creating a small dent in one side and shallow grooves on the other. Repeat, place on lightly floured baking sheet. Store in refrigerator from 1 to 24 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, in a skillet over medium-high, heat the cream until hot. Remove from heat, whisk in half the pesto. Scrape into large bowl. Set aside in warm spot.
  8. Cook half the gnocchi in boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes or until they rise to the top. (Overcooking leads to disintegration.) Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to bowl and toss with pesto. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. If sauce seems too “tight,” add cooking water gradually until consistency is saucy. Season with pepper. Serve in warm bowls, top with Parmigiano.

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