Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
- 1 pound (454 g) russet potatoes, peeled, washed, and halved or quartered
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, divided use
- Nutmeg, to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1-1 1/3 cups (125-170 g) all-purpose flour, as needed
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
- 4 cups (80 g) basil leaves, cleaned and dried (about 4 bunches)
- 2 cups (40 g) Italian parsley leaves, cleaned and dried (about 1 bunch)
- 1/4 cup (35 g) toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup (36 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (36 g) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- To make the gnocchi, place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Heat over low heat, stirring to prevent browning, until the potatoes are completely dry.
- Mash the potatoes with a ricer or through a food mill and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Set aside to cool completely.
- Add the egg to the potatoes, and gently mix in 1 cup of the flour. Do not overwork the dough or the gnocchi will be tough. If the dough is very sticky, gently stir in more flour. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Using your hands, roll out pieces of the dough into ropes about 1 inch in diameter. Cut the long cylinders into 2-inch pieces. With gentle pressure, roll the dough pieces over a gnocchi board, or over the tines of a fork, pressing and rocking the dumpling with your thumb, to achieve a ridged edge on one side and an indentation on the other. Set the gnocchi aside on parchment-covered baking sheets while you make the pesto.
- To make the pesto, place garlic cloves into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 8.
- Use the On/Off switch to quickly pulse until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the container.
- Add the oil, basil, parsley, and pine nuts. Secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 6, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades until finely chopped.
- Stop the machine, scrape down the sides of the container and add the cheeses.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 6.
- Blend until you have achieved a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Pour into a bowl.
- Bring a pot or large saucepan full of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat 6 heaping tablespoons of the pesto in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
- Drop the gnocchi into the boiling salted water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the frying pan, along with ¾ cup of the gnocchi cooking water.
- Coat the gnocchi with the pesto, transfer to warm plates or a platter, and serve immediately.
Chef's Tip: Gnocchi is a great appetizer for an Italian feast, but it’s also a filling side dish when paired with grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.
This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different Vitamix machine or container size, you may need to make adjustments to the Variable Speed, processing time, and/or ingredient quantities.