Ricotta and Lime Zest Gnocchi with Pesto-237
Ah, Ricotta Gnocchi. It brings back so many fond memories of my siblings and me crowded around the bench, making a mess, trying to help mum cook dinner. Being the oldest, I had the job of supervising my younger sisters as they tussled over squishing the gnocchi flat with a fork without taking each other’s eyes out. Dad’s tomato pasta sauce would be simmering as we watched the gnocchi float cooked to the top, ready to be gobbled up.
This is a slightly different take on those fun family dinners. With the dry season upon us, there has been a veggie patch explosion. It’s a jungle thick with eggplants, tomatoes, passion fruit vines, Asian greens and basil. Especially basil! (In the tropics, the dry season is the non-rainy, less humid and slightly colder season of the year). So, as you do when you have basil coming out your ears, we made pesto. And lots of it! And what tastes better with pesto than some freshly cooked ricotta gnocchi topped with freshly picked tomatoes?
While we are on the subject of pesto, the week before we shot this post, I acquired a large block of true Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. Last year, my neighbours across the road had a beautiful Italian exchange student called Vero come to stay with them for 5 months. This year they went over to Italy to visit her, and it just so happens that her family owns an old Parmesan cheese factory in Parma, the birthplace of Parmesan cheese. So of course they brought a few precious wedges of Parmesan back. There is no possible way to capture the incredible flavour and texture of the Vero’s Parmigiano Reggiano. It is honestly to die for!
We added lime zest into the ricotta gnocchi to add a little bit more flavour. This is a delicious addition especially when eating the gnocchi plain with Parmesan. However as basil strength varies enormously, it is possible that your pesto will overpower this slight taste addition. Who knows, you might just want add the lime zest for a little fun, we certainly did.
This delicious variation on tradition Italian potato gnocchi is much lighter, easier and more adaptable. It is delightfully fresh alternative and perfect for a summer evening.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
Serves: 4 – 5 people
Preparation time: 15min
Cook time: 15min
Ricotta Gnocchi: Pesto:
750g ricotta Aprox 100g, fresh basil leaves
1 ½ cup plain flour ¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup Parmesan, grated 50g pinenuts
3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lime, zested ¼ parmesan, grated
Sprinkle of salt and pepper Pinch of salt
1 punnet of Cherry tomatoes
Mix together well all of Gnocchi ingredients.
On a floured surface roll the gnocchi into a long rope. Cut it into 3 cm lengths and press gently with a fork.
Put on a saucepan of salted boiling water. Make the Pesto by placing all ingredients except the parmesan into a food processor (or blender) and blitz. Stop once or twice to scrap down the edges. Once the Pesto is almost smooth mix through the Parmesan.
Carefully drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Once cooked the Gnocchi will float to the surface.
Serve the Ricotta Gnocchi hot with the Pesto and freshly chopped cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!