Make this gnocchi recipe with pistachio pesto and pair it with ricotta and pumpkin for a mouth-watering dinner.
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Soft, pillowy gnocchi is an Italian classic that’s loved for its simplicity and versatility. Traditionally made using mashed potatoes, flour and egg, the little dumplings are boiled until they are light and fluffy. Just like pasta, you can cook gnocchi in a simple butter sauce, tomato, pesto, cream or in a ragu or bolognaise sauce. These days there are plenty of gnocchi variations - ricotta, pumpkin, spinach and parmesan to name just a few - for you to try. This recipe, ready in less than an hour, uses potato gnocchi served on top of smooth whipped ricotta and with a homemade pistachio pesto and baked pumpkin, it’s a hearty dinner that’s packed full of flavour. For a twist on the recipe, you could use bought pumpkin gnocchi instead of potato.
For the baked pumpkin, you’ll need 800g of finely chopped butternut pumpkin. The sweet nutty flavour of the pumpkin is the perfect compliment to the creamy whipped ricotta. You’ll need 250g of smooth ricotta, which has a mild flavour and is made creamier when combined with 100g of goat's cheese and 1/4 cup (60ml) of thickened cream. This recipe uses 500g of bought potato gnocchi, but if you’re keen to make your own, we’ve got a brilliant basic gnocchi recipe for you to try. You’ll also need 1 tbs of olive oill and 120g of baby rocket leaves to serve.
To make the pistachio pesto from scratch, you’ll need 1/3 cup (45g) pistachios that are toasted to bring out their flavour, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of basil leaves, 60g of baby rocket leaves, 1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan and 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil.
First, bake the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 200°C then line a large baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the chopped pumpkin on the tray and spray with olive oil spray and season. Then bake, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden brown and tender. Pistachio pesto is a tasty spin on the classic pine nut version, and it’s super easy to make your own. Place the toasted pistachios, garlic, basil, rocket and parmesan in a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely chopped. While the motor is running, add the oil slowly in a thin, steady stream until it’s well combined. Adding the oil slowly helps to ensure all the ingredients are well combined and the olive oil doesn’t split. Season the pesto and transfer to a small bowl.
The whipped ricotta is made by placing the ricotta, goat’s cheese and cream in a clean food processor until well combined, then season and set aside.
Then it’s time to cook the gnocchi. To do this, simply place one-quarter of the gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until the gnocchi rise to the surface of the pan. Cook them in batches so they don’t crowd the pan. Remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
Now that you have all your recipe components ready, it’s time to get cooking and combining. Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the gnocchi and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat then fold in the baked pumpkin and half the pesto.
When you’re ready to serve, spoon the whipped ricotta onto serving plates. Top with the gnocchi mixture and sprinkle with the rocket leaves. Drizzle with the remaining pesto and enjoy.
Discover why gnocchi is the great Italian all-rounder. It can be cooked in so many ways, all of which are super tasty and easy to make. Start with the classic gnocchi with burnt butter and walnuts, then enjoy a tomato-sauce variation in this sausage, tomato and eggplant gnocchi. Make midweek lunches great again with this 15-minute pan-fried gnocchi with peas and crispy pancetta. Go meat-free - and budget-friendly - with this flavour-packed gnocchi with broccoli pesto. Gnocchi also works brilliantly in bakes, as seen in this baked gnocchi with bolognaise and sweet potato gnocchi bake with bacon crumb.