Pan Fried Pesto Gnocchi
Quality in-season ingredients, thoughtfully prepared, elevated this dish to Elaine’s NEW favourite ‘pasta’ meal. The fragrant basil we have over-flowing in the garden, plus the freshly picked tomatoes and jalapeños were the undeniable stars. But don’t get me wrong, this dish is exceptionally delicious using the freshest ingredients you can find at your local store as well!
Toasting the pine nuts and cooking the garlic in the olive oil before blending the pesto adds a lovely warmth and depth of flavour without impacting the pure freshness of the basil and spinach combination! While the slight spice of the jalapeño mingling with the juicy tomatoes, lingers on the palette, leaving you wanting just one more bite, again and then again.
We loved the additional flavour and texture that browning the gnocchi brought to the table. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, then just add the cooked gnocchi to the dish, let it soak up all the delicious flavours and enjoy!
1 pack of gnocchi (500g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 jalapeños, sliced
- ¼ cup pasta water
- ¼ cup mascarpone
- ¼ cup parmesan
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ pine nuts
- 1 ¼ cups tender baby spinach, stems removed
- 1 ¼ cups basil leaves, stems removed
- 3 ice cubes (keeps the pesto vibrant green)
- ½ cup parmesan, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
NanoBond® Titanium Skillet 8.5 in
NanoBond® Titanium Skillet 11 in
NanoBond® Titanium Stockpot, 8-Quart
Thomas Keller™ Nonstick Saute Pan 12.5 in
Provisions™ Stainless Steel Colander
Garlic oil. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add the oil and garlic. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes to infuse the oil and mellow the garlic. The garlic should be a light golden colour not brown, so remove from the heat or lower the heat if the garlic is browning. Let cool completely before adding to the pesto.
Toast the pine nuts. Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and stir frequently to prevent burning. Toast for about 3-5 minutes until they turn golden brown fragrant. Let cool.
Blend ingredients. Add the spinach, basil and ice cubes into a food processor and blend. Next add the parmesan, pine nuts, garlic oil and salt.
Boil the gnocchi as per package instructions (or bring 3 litres of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and the gnocchi. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.)
- Reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
- Strain the gnocchi, set aside.
Blister the tomatoes. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat in the oil. Cover the tomatoes and cook, tossing occasionally until their skins begin to blister, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the sliced jalapeños into the skillet and stir the combine. Cook uncovered for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
Brown the gnocchi (optional). Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat through. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned to your liking. Flip the gnocchi and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes more.
Mix everything together. Add the pesto into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pasta water, mascarpone, and parmesan, stir to combine. Next add the blistered tomatoes, jalapeños, and gnocchi. Gently stir to incorporate and warm everything though, about 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!