Seasonal local food recipe No 158: Pesto gnocchi

This simple dish is from TV presenter Dick Strawbridge, who lives in Cornwall. He cooked it with his son James on ITV’s The Hungry Sailors.

We’ll be using our homegrown basil in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week to make it along with the potatoes supplied by James Mutton at Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn.

We have a strongly-growing crop of basil in the polytunnel and can look forward to plenty more in the weeks to come.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

For the gnocchi:
750g potatoes
300g plain flour
1 egg yolk, beaten
Pinch of salt

For the pesto:
2 garlic cloves
12 basil leaves
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tsp sea salt
50 g parmesan cheese, grated
(use a vegetarian version to keep it a veggie dish)
4 tbsp olive oil

Peel and roughly chop the potatoes and boil for 15-20 minutes until soft.

Push the potatoes through a metal sieve, or a potato ricer, to make a smooth purée. Allow to cool and mix in the flour. Beat in egg yolk and a pinch of salt until it forms a dough. Knead to ensure it is smooth.

Roll the dough into a long thin sausage then cut into 1 inch pieces to form the gnocchi. Using the prongs of a fork, make an indentation into the top of each gnocchi.

For the pesto, grind the garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts and salt together in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Stir in the parmesan and olive oil.

Drop the gnocchi into boiling, salted water and cook for a couple of minutes. The gnocchi are ready when they rise to the surface of the water. Remove, drain and coat in the pesto.

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