Trying to keep a meat-loving husband satisfied mid-week with vegetarian meals requires variety. There is only so much pasta I can make. This is why I love gnocchi. It’s as easy as pasta, it can be made with the same sauces, and yet it makes for an entirely different meal.
I love making my own gnocchi. Nothing is more satisfying than sitting in front of a bowl of gnocchi that you have prepared yourself. After making the potato dough you roll it into ropes, cut it into dumplings and finally – my favorite part – a quick flick of the wrist with a floured fork and the dumplings are transformed into little nests perfect for soaking up delicious sauce.
this blog was started in the hopes of helping and inspiring my friends (and wonderful mystery readers) to prepare more clean, healthy dishes for their families. And there isn’t a single mum I know who has a free hour on a Tuesday night to bang out some fresh gnocchi. Maybe, on a cold Saturday in January, I might try and rally some friends up for the task. Until then, however, we are very lucky here in the south of France to have fresh gnocchi available in most supermarkets. (I think in the US too?)
The one thing I will ask you to do is make a fresh pesto. I am not hiding in your pantry though so if you pull out a jar of pesto and whack it in instead I won’t know. It just won’t be as good (or as clean) as mine.
- 1½ cups packed fresh basil leaves (from 2-3 bunch)
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons (20g) pine nuts
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt or sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 kg of fresh gnocchi (2 lb)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- Swig of olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 200 g (7 oz.) green beans,
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- Pesto (the above recipe should make about 165g/6 oz)
- 4 Tablepoons Grated Parmesan
- 3 Tablespoons Panko or Bread Crumbs (optional)
- To make the pesto: Place all ingredients except the oil in a food processor and mix until everything is finely chopped and starting to form a dry paste. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the oil until well combined and a nice thick but spreadable consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Peel the squash, discard the seeds and chop into large dice. Toss the squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes.
- When done tilt the squash into a large bowl and add the halved cherry tomatoes to the pan. toss with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until soft and wrinkling and nicely roasted. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 180C/350F.
- Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until just tender but still bright, green and slightly crunchy. At the same time, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until they have risen to the surface and they are all floating on the top like little balls.
- Drain and toss the gnocchi in a large bowl with the squash, green beans, and pesto. Lightly oil a casserole dish and pour the mixture into the dish. Top with the roasted cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and parmesan has melted and gone golden.