Recipe for the Gnoccheti al Pesto
Updated: Feb 4
Slightly adapted from Valeria Necchio’s recipe in Veneto
For the basil pesto
85g basil leaves
70g grated Parmesan
1 garlic clove, inner shoot removed, mashed (about 4g),
25g pine nuts (2 ½ tablespoons)
¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
158ml extra virgin olive oil (2/3 cups), plus more for covering the pesto
For the gnocchi
1 kg waxy potatoes (roughly the same size)
200-250g plain flour ( 12/3 – 2 cups)
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 egg (optional)
For the pesto
Place all the ingredients and half of the olive oil in a blender.
Start pulsing in short regular intervals to break down the ingredients.
Slowly pour in the rest of the oil and blend until you have a smooth, creamy, slightly loose pesto.
Transfer to a container, pour a little more oil and cover it with a lid or foil. Set it in the fridge until ready to use.
For the gnocchetti
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Brush the potatoes with cool water, pat them dry, prick them all over with a fork and arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 1 hour or until cooked all the way through
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before peeling them.
Scatter three-quarters of the flour mixed with the salt over a work surface. Press the potato flesh through a ricer or a fine sieve onto the flour; add the egg (if using).
Shape everything into a soft ball of dough. Add the rest of the flour a little at the time until the dough has the right texture (pliable and soft, but not sticky).
Dust the work surface with more flour and divide the dough into 4-5 chunks.
Using your palms and working from the center, roll out the dough into long ropes that are as thick as your ring finger.
Cut each rope into square segments and transfer them to a flour-dusted tray or board (make sure you cover the ropes of dough that are not being cut at the moment, to avoid them drying out).
Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Salt it and when boiling again, tip in about half of the gnocchetti. Then proceed in the same way with the second batch.