Homemade gnocchi & Rocket pesto

French - You may think I'm crazy making my own gnocchi but there is no better way to enjoy a meal than to make it yourself. I thought it would be difficult to make it, especially in my tiny kitchen but if you're organized enough, it can become simple and fun. Gnocchi have the reputation to be a heavy meal that make you feel stuffed. Therefore, I tried to look for a recipe that could make the gnocchi lighter and make you feel full without the down side. To make gnocchi, you normally need potatoes, olive oil, traditional flour and sometimes eggs. I tried to keep it simple just by using potatoes and flour, but of course not traditional flour, I used organic kamut flour which is whole grain, low in fat, cholesterol free and high in protein and fiber. This flour also has a hazelnut taste, which brings an original flavor to the gnocchi. I also chose to add fresh basil leaves cut in tiny pieces into the dough. To go along with homemade gnocchi, rocket pesto is the best: easy to make and full of flavors.

Recipe for 3 - Preparation: 1h30 

Basil gnocchi:

  • 400 grams potatoes 
  • 200 grams organic kamut flour
  • 6 fresh basil leaves cut in tiny pieces
  • salt and pepper

Rocket pesto:

  • 3 big handful of rocket 
  • 1 chopped garlic clove 
  • 80 grams of crushed roasted hazelnut 
  • 100 grams of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper 
  1. Wash the potatoes, put them into a pan fills of water and cook it on high heat. Close the pan with a lid to make it go faster, it should take about 20 minutes. 
  2. In the meantime, let's make the rocket pesto. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, add the hazelnuts to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside when ready.
  3. Put the rocket and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor (including toasted hazelnuts) and puree until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan, on a lower heat, to heat it slowly. Set aside.
  4. Back to our potatoes! To check if it is cooked or not, put a knife into a potato, if this one falls, your potatoes are ready! Remove from the pan and directly slice each of them in half lengthwise. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel their skins off and place them on a big bowl. Potatoes should still be warm so if needed take a rag. 
  5. Mash them with a fork for a long time until it becomes like a puree. When pretty smooth, add salt, pepper, fresh basil leaves cut in tiny pieces and keep kneading the dough. 
  6. Add flour to the mashed potato in 50 grams intervals, using your hands to work the flour in with each addition. When your dough is not too dry but not too sticky, you can be proud of you. To test it, take a tiny piece of dough off and drop it in the boiling water. If it floats to the top without falling apart, it is perfect. If it falls apart, it needs more flour.
  7. Lower the heat now, it is going to take a little while to make the gnocchi. On a baking sheet, add some flour and place your dough. Take a piece out and start rolling your dough into a long rope. With a knife, cut little pieces. Renew this operation, until no more dough.
  8. Once, little pieces everywhere, use the back of your fork and your thumb to make it roll and shape the gnocchi. 
  9. Once your kitchen looks like a mess with flour everywhere, that your black shirt is now white and your hands are sticky, it is finally time to turn the water back up to a boil and warm up the rocket pesto. 
  10. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water, once they rise to the top (about two minutes) and stay there for a couple of seconds, they are done. Use a slotted spoon to remove (Don't let them hang at the top of the water for more than a few seconds).
  11. Mix them with your rocket pesto and then diner is finally ready to enjoy!

Buon Appetito

Basil gnocchi
Gnocchis Roket pesto