Though I've always loved Italian food, I didn't discover gnocchi until I went to Italy with Campus Crusade for Christ during college. Gnocchi is a pasta made from potatoes and can be served with a variety of sauces. To make gnocchi from scratch can be very time-consuming. So, I've always bought it from the store (it can usually be found in the Italian food section). If you're not someone who likes to cook, this can be a very easy meal any night of the week. This pesto sauce would be great on gnocchi, but you could always use a bottled sauce if you don't want to make it yourself.
Basil Pesto (from Giada de Laurentiis)
2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
About 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. With the blender still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the cheese. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Giada says, "The secret to making pesto into a great pasta dressing is to get the sauce to the right consistency. Fresh from the food processor, pestos are usually too thick to coat pastas; you'll just end up with mounds of the sauce amid a lot of undressed noodles. You need to mix in just enough of the pasta cooking liquid to get the pesto to coat the pasta, but not so much that you've created pesto soup."
To cook the gnocchi, just boil water like you normally would in order to cook regular pasta. When the gnocchi starts to float to the top, you'll know it's ready! Just drain and serve with sauce.
10 months ago