Classic Gnocchi and Pesto has been a favorite of ours ever since we moved to New York City in the late 80s. We loved heading down to our favorite place in Little Italy and this was always one of the dishes we just craved. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or the final product will produce overly dense dumplings. You want these to be little pillows of deliciousness!
Using a potato ricer is essential in achieving just the right density for this amazing dish. I ordered mine online and got it within a day.
Here is a link to one very similar to what I have been using for many years.
Be sure to not overwork the dough. Work it just until a dough forms.
Roll the dough into a rope and use a knife to cut into 3/4″ long pieces. You can then use a fork to gently make an indention in each dumpling. These help the sauce adhere to the pasta.
You’ll know the gnocchi is done once it rises to the surface of the boiling water. Let it cook for about another minute after they rise.
Fresh Pesto is the best! But, in a pinch, you can use a good-quality purchased brand.
This Classic Gnocchi with Pesto is so authentic and so delicious!! 130% Loon Approved!
Classic Gnocchi and Pesto
- 4 large baking potatoes the waxy kind
- Kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Fresh pesto click for recipe
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Place the potatoes in cold, salted water and cover by about 1 inch. Cover the pan and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cold water, and peel once they are cool enough to handle.
- Press the warm potatoes through a ricer (or press them through a medium-mesh sieve) into a bowl.
- Using a spatula, gently mix in the egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of salt and then add the flour about 1/4 cup at a time. Gently stirring just until a dough forms (you may not need to use all of the flour).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times until smooth, adding just enough flour to prevent it from being too sticky.
- Divide the dough into 4 portions.
- Flour your hands, and then use your palms to roll the dough to make a rope about 3/4-inch in diameter.
- Cut the rope into 3/4-inch lengths.
- At this point, you can take a fork and gently press it into one side of each dumpling to create small grooves (this is optional).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add half of the gnocchi to the boiling water and simmer until they rise to the surface, about 1 1/2 minutes. Then cook for another 1 minute.
- Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer the gnocchi to a warm serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, then scoop out about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside.
- Add the pesto and about 1/4 cup of the cooking water to the gnocchi. Add more, if necessary, to make a creamy sauce.
- Dived among individual bowls, and top with freshly grated Parmesan.
- Serve at once and ENJOY!