Recipes Green and White Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto and Gorgonzola
Gnocchi is a classic Italian dish of pillowy soft potato dumplings that are served like pasta, with a variety of sauces, meats, and vegetables. It's possible to get pre-made dried gnocchi at many supermarkets and specialty stores, but it's really not that difficult to make, and the flavor and texture of homemade gnocchi is light-years better. This festive green-and-white gnocchi gets its color from the addition of spinach to half of the dough. While it's often served as a first course or side dish, this gorgonzola and pesto-draped version makes a hearty main dish when paired with a simple green salad.
Green and White Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnut Pesto
Total Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Active time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients for Walnut Pesto
1/2 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1/2 cup parsley leaves, de-stemmed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredients for Gnocchi
2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
1 pound fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed, and dried
1 pound potatoes, boiled and peeled
3/4 to 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Walnut pesto (recipe follows)
1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
Directions for Walnut Pesto
Fit a food processor with a metal blade. Place the basil, parsley, walnuts, garlic, and salt in the processor and pulse until well chopped. Mix the Parmesan cheese with the olive oil and slowly add the oil-cheese mixture to the herb mixture, pulsing to combine. Process until smooth, remove the pesto from the food processor, and set aside.
Directions for Gnocchi
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
In a large pan, heat the grapeseed or olive oil over medium-high heat and add the spinach, sautéing just until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Shock the spinach by plunging it into the prepared bowl of ice water. Remove the spinach quickly and wring it dry by hand or in a towel. Place the spinach in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Smash the potatoes using a potato masher or by running them through a food mill. Make a well in the middle of the mashed potatoes and add 3/4 cup of the flour, egg, salt, and pepper and mix to combine. Divide the dough into two equal portions and add the spinach to one half of the dough.
Knead both doughs separately, using the rest of the flour if needed. Roll each portion of dough into a 1-inch-thick rope, one green and one white. Slice the ropes into 1 inch pieces. Curl each gnocchi piece over your thumb or index finger and press with the tines of a fork to form the classic gnocchi shape.
Working in batches of 10 to 15 at a time, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. When all the gnocchi float, use a slotted spoon to transfer them from the boiling water to a paper towel to drain. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked. To serve, toss with the walnut pesto until well coated, transfer to plates, sprinkle with gorgonzola, a