Midweek Meal: Gnocchi Basil Pesto

Midweek Meal: Gnocchi Basil Pestofeatured

I’m stepping in for Nikita this week with the Midweek Meal and sharing one of my all-time favourite, super quick and easy dinners. This is a variation on regular pesto, replacing the cream with avocado for a healthier take. The key element to getting the this right is a food processor! Speeds the process up and gives the sauce the right consistency. Sooo…you’re going to need one those if you want to make this. Also look at that bushel of basil! Thanks Banana Joes, you’re alright!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 – 1/2 fresh avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package potato gnocchi
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Method

1. Start by blending your basil in a food processor. I always do the leaves on their own first for a few pulses then add the cheese, pine nuts and garlic. Once it’s starting to form a paste, add the oil and avocado. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides every so often to ensure everything is blended.

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2. Now we need to get our gnocchi on the boil. Most gnocchi packets have instructions and it’s pretty simple: add gnocchi to pot of boiling water, cook for about 6 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the top. Scoop out of the water with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water when done to stop them sticking together.

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3. Mix together your gnocchi and pesto, adding the it a spoonful at a time. I always add a few drops of boiling water to thin out the paste a little and make it more of a sauce – I know it sounds weird but the water doesn’t separate and just gives it more of a creamy texture. You can toss it in the pan if you want it nice and hot or just serve it up as is. If you move fast enough it should still be fairly warm! Add salt and pepper to taste.

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4. Portion into bowls, serve with a little parmesan cheese, maybe a side salad and some garlic bread! Depending of whether you have sides or not, this can serve between 2 and 4 people. If you have left over sauce, squeeze a little lemon juice on it and pop it in air tight container in the fridge. It keeps for a about 2 days and you can use it as a spread on a toasted sandwich! YUM!

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How did you go with it? Do you have a different way of making this dish? We love feedback so feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to check out other Midweek Meals!

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