Crispy Gnocchi with Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe

This recipe came about because I had an enormous bunch of basil that I needed to use, and we were both ravenous from having done our 5k park run in the morning. Sometimes you just need really filling food and you don’t want to have to wait hours for it. So I took some inspiration from my Italian roots, along with a tip I picked up from Nigella to create this. She once fried gnocchi as an alternative to roast potatoes, and since then I have never boiled them again as I find them too stodgy and claggy otherwise. If you think you don't like gnocchi try it like this and you will change your mind.

All of these ingredients were hanging around my kitchen store cupboards – pine nuts are probably more unusual and can be substituted for walnuts or almonds if that’s what you have handy.

  • Pack of gnocchi
  • Pack of bacon chopped into lardons, or 80g pancetta cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Large bunch basil
  • One big fat garlic clove
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan
  • 200ml low fat crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Get two frying pans on the heat. Add a glug of oil to the smaller one and when it has warmed through a little throw in the gnocchi and sprinkle with sea salt (this is what makes them crispy). Toss them every now and then. Fry the bacon in the other pan.
  2. Then we go through a series of blitzes in the food processor. First is parmesan as it saves time from grating. (If yours is already grated skip this). Then the pine nuts and garlic go in, followed by the basil and a big glug of oil. I keep on whizzing and adding oil until I have a consistency I’m happy with. Mine is usually drier than from the supermarket as I just can’t put in that much oil (on top of cheese, bacon and carbs!!!)

  3. Add the pesto to the pan once the bacon is cooked. How much depends on how strong you like it. I used about two thirds of what I made. Warm this through then add the crème fraiche. Stir through and season with pepper – no more salt will be needed as there is plenty in the pesto.
  4. When the sauce is warmed stir in the gnocchi. They should be golden and crispy by now, and will mix in beautifully.
  5. Serve with a final grating of parmesan, a twist of black pepper and a few fresh basil leaves.

Any left-over pesto can be stored for about a week in the fridge, with a layer of oil over the top.

This will definitely be making its way into my normal recipe repertoire as the hubby said it was the best thing I had made him ever!
I'm going Italian tonight with gnocchi and homemade pesto from @petitepassions blog #food #recipe. Click to tweet it!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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