Homemade Spinach Gnocchi with Pea Pesto and Green Vegetables

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Summer is here, nice and green vegetables start to fill our gardens and the markets. This fresh and colorful summer gnocchi dish uses a combination of green vegetables available in summer — asparagus, peas and fresh basil from the garden. Delicious, quick and easy pesto made with frozen peas is a perfect served with a green gnocchi and vegetables.

It’s a very important to use the right type of potato. Once you find the variety of potato that makes good gnocchi, stick to it.

Add more healthy and delicious food option to your daily menu. Pesto sauce can turn plain everyday meal as pasta, salad, soup or sandwich into a culinary masterpiece. How to make pesto? It’s easy.

I’ve put a new twist on the classics basil pesto recipe. Green peas and mint instead of a basil, roasted seeds instead of pine nuts and cheese.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Using potato to make the gnocchi is a great option if you are doing a gluten-free diet. This recipe is chockful of nutrients thanks to all of the delicious green vegetables. Getting a good dose of your green veggies is important to get all the micronutrients your body needs. For example, this recipe is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and manganese!

By Paige Geimer

Homemade Spinach Gnocchi with Pea Pesto and Green Vegetables

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the pasta:

4 floury Agria potatoes (about 1 kg)
1 free range egg
3/4 bag of baby spinach leaves
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup – 1 1/2 cup Italian tipo 00 flour or all-purpose flour

For the pesto:

1 1/2 cup baby green peas (thawed, if you use frozen peas)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup roasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of a quarter of a lemon
1 garlic clove – optional
black pepper

For the vegetables:

bunch of asparagus, hard parts removed
a handful of snow peas, split
basil leaves for garnish
garlic clove, crushed and chopped
olive oil
pinch of salt
pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a skewer, 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Put the spinach leaves in the pan with a half of cup of boiling water, and allow them to boil for about 10 seconds until you see a bright green color. Chill it slightly, then strain the spinach well and just squeeze the leaves to remove as much of the water as you can. Chop blanched spinach finely or blitz using a hand blender. The green coloring is ready.
  3. Drain, cool slightly, peel and mash potato using potato ricer or sieve. Let cool until almost at room temperature, at least 20 minutes. In the mixing bowl mix together potato, salt, beaten egg and spinach mix.
  4. Place the potato mix on a work surface covered with flour. Sprinkle potato with 1 cup of flour. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together. Add more flour during kneading process if dough too sticky. Knead about few minutes until you get a smooth, supple dough. Use a dough scraper if the dough sticks to the surface. The amount of flour can vary depending on the type of potato, the type of flour and the amount of liquid in the spinach. Add just enough flour to hold gnocchi together but not to make them heavy. Usually, I add 1 – 1 1/2 cups of flour.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into sausages about 2,5 cm in diameter and cut the sausages into 2 cm chunks. Make the grooves using the fork or gnocchi board (see the video above). Gnocchi with grooves will trap more sauce.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to the boil (I use 4L pot). Add about 2 Tbsp of salt. Cook the gnocchi in few batches. Throw in the boiling water, stir, then wait for them to rise to the surface. Count slowly to 10, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the skillet with vegetables. Add gnocchi to frying pan and toss to coat in oil. To serve, divide gnocchi and vegetables among bowls, spooning over with pesto sauce. Garnish with basil leaves and enjoy immediately.
  7. Spring vegetables: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add a good splash of olive oil, garlic, asparagus spears and snow peas. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus and peas are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. For Pesto. Combine all ingredients for pesto sauce into the blender or food processor and mix well. Add more olive oil depending on how creamy you want it. Store the pesto in a small, covered container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a skewer, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the spinach leaves in the pan with a half of cup of boiling water, and allow them to boil for about 10 seconds until you see a bright green color. Chill it slightly, then strain the spinach well and just squeeze the leaves to remove as much of the water as you can. Chop blanched spinach finely or blitz using a hand blender. The green coloring is ready. Drain, cool slightly, peel and mash potato using potato ricer or sieve. Let cool until almost at room temperature, at least 20 minutes. In the mixing bowl mix together potato, salt, beaten egg and spinach mix. Place the potato mix on a work surface covered with flour. Sprinkle potato with 1 cup of flour. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together. Add more flour during kneading process if dough too sticky. Knead about few minutes until you get a smooth, supple dough. Use a dough scraper if the dough sticks to the surface. The amount of flour can vary depending on the type of potato, the type of flour and the amount of liquid in the spinach. Add just enough flour to hold gnocchi together but not to make them heavy. Usually, I add 1 – 1 1/2 cups of flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into sausages about 2,5 cm in diameter and cut the sausages into 2 cm chunks. Make the grooves using the fork or gnocchi board (see the video above). Gnocchi with grooves will trap more sauce. Bring a large pot of water to the boil (I use 4L pot). Add about 2 Tbsp of salt. Cook the gnocchi in few batches. Throw in the boiling water, stir, then wait for them to rise to the surface. Count slowly to 10, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the skillet with vegetables. Add gnocchi to frying pan and toss to coat in oil. To serve, divide gnocchi and vegetables among bowls, spooning over with pesto sauce. Garnish with basil leaves and enjoy immediately. Spring vegetables: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add a good splash of olive oil, garlic, asparagus spears and snow peas. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus and peas are tender. Season with salt and pepper. For Pesto. Combine all ingredients for pesto sauce into the blender or food processor and mix well. Add more olive oil depending on how creamy you want it. Store the pesto in a small, covered container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 404; Total Fat: 19 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 50 mg; Sodium: 1032mg; Potassium: 1193mg; Carbohydrate: 37 g;  Fiber: 10 g; Sugar: 5 g; Protein: 14 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 97%; Vitamin A: 262%; Iron: 41%; Calcium: 16%;

 

Scoop, mix, go further.

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