Whole Wheat Potato Gnocchi With Extra Garlicky Pesto

What to do when you get a ton of basil from you farmshare (as well as all the basil we were growing in the garden) and a pound of new potatoes: potato gnocchi with pesto!

Note, in this picture the gnocchi is accompanied by a simple beet, corn, and onion salad

Potato Gnocchi with Pesto
from Cooks Illustrated, with some adaptations

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 medium cloves garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Table salt

2 pounds russet potatoes (or other baking potatoes), washed
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour , plus more as needed
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon table salt , plus more for cooking liquid


1. For Pesto: Place pine nuts and garlic into toaster oven and toast for 2-3 minutes. Place basil, garlic, and pine nuts in workbowl of food processor. Process, scraping down sides as needed, until minced. With motor still running, slowly pour oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Scrape pesto into bowl. Stir in cheese and salt to taste.

2. For Gnocchi: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes until a metal skewer slides easily through them, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size.

3. Hold potato with a pot holder or kitchen towel and peel it with a vegetable peeler or paring knife; rice peeled potato into a large bowl. Peel and rice remaining potatoes. Cool until potatoes are no longer hot, about 15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt over warm potatoes. Using your hands, work mixture into a soft, smooth dough. If dough is sticky (which is often the case), add more flour as needed, up to 1 1/2 cups total.

5. Roll about one-quarter of dough into a long 3/4-inch-thick rope. If rope won’t hold together, return it to bowl with remaining dough and work in more flour as needed. Repeat until all dough is rolled.

6. Cut rope of dough into 3/4-inch lengths . Holding butter paddle or fork in one hand, press each piece of cut dough against ridged surface with index finger to make an indentation in center. Roll dough down and off ridges and allow it to drop to work surface.

7. Bring 4 quarts of water to low boil in large pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt or to taste. Add about one-third of the gnocchi and cook until they float, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (about 3 minutes for frozen gnocchi). Retrieve gnocchi with slotted spoon and transfer to warm, shallow serving bowl or platter. Repeat cooking process with remaining gnocchi. Gently toss gnocchi with pesto and serve immediately.


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