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Homemade Gnocchi and Pesto Cream Sauce

There is nothing like homemade pasta. And this gnocchi recipe is no exception! The gnocchi (or potato dumplings) are so light and airy that they melt in your mouth and the rich and nutty pesto cream sauce is the perfect compliment for this impressive dish.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

To make the gnocchi:

  • 3 pounds potatoes Russet
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

To make the pesto cream sauce:

  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter salted
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

To make the gnocchi:

  • Add unpeeled, whole potatoes to a large pot. Add cold water and fill pot so that water fills about 1 inch above potatoes. Place on stove and set to medium-high so that water begins to boil. Boil until potatoes are completely cooked, about 45 minutes. While potatoes boil, you can work on making the pesto (see instructions below).
  • Once cooked, remove potatoes from water (but do not toss water; you will use it to boil gnocchi) and immediately peel and pass through a potato ricer. Place riced potato on a clean counter surface.
  • Sprinkle flour all over potato. Make a well in the center of the potato and flour mixture. Place egg in center of well. Using a fork, scramble egg and incorporate into potato and flour mixture. Once egg is mixed it, use your hands to incorporate the rest of the potato and flour mixture until a smooth ball forms.
  • Cut dough in 8 sections. Grabbing one section at a time, roll into a long log, about 2 feet long. Cut log into 1 inch pieces. Roll each piece into an oval to form the dumpling. Repeat with 7 other sections. Add a little flour to surface if the dough gets too sticky.
  • Boil gnocchi until it floats to the top (about 1 minute). Do not over-crowd the pot with gnocchi. Only place enough dumplings to make one layer of gnocchi. See below on steps on how to serve the gnocchi.

To make pesto cream sauce:

  • Toast pine nuts and garlic (still in peel) in a small saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove garlic. Continue toasting pine nuts until they get dark golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Be careful! Pine nuts toast quickly so you must watch them closely.
  • Remove garlic from peel and place into food processor with basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Begin processing, drizzling in olive oil while it mixes. Set aside.
  • Add cream and salted butter to saute pan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, Add pesto and combine. Heat through for a minute or so until hot. Add gnocchi to pan based on directions below.

To serve:

  • Place 1/2 of cooked gnocchi in saute pan with prepared pesto cream sauce. Stir together and cook until warm, about 2 minutes. Serve. Place remaining gnocchi in a storage container and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to store for future use. Note: if you want to serve all the gnocchi, make double the amount of pesto cream sauce.