Potato Gnocchi with a Spinach Pesto

Gnocchi is often eaten in Italy as a first course, however I always serve it as a main meal.

Gnocchi is another versatile food as there are so many toppings you can make to go with it.  I generally make my own gnocchi however on this particular day I had been out all day, and was in a hurry so used a packet variety.

Of course these are not as nice as home made ones, however I will do home made gnocchi in another recipe.

There are several variations of gnocchi, and the softest is made with potatoes. Other types tend to be firmer whereas the potato ones have a softer texture.  They are therefore far more pleasant to eat , and if you can get the brand in the picture, I find this brand is very nice.

Spinach is one of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself, and I use the variety pictured.  This one has a slightly more "peppery" taste and works well in most dishes.  It is a climbing spinach and keeps coming up year after year, and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked - it works very well in a pesto because of the slight "peppery" taste.

Beware with gnocchi - it is a very filling dish, and I therefore serve up smaller meals than I would otherwise.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings as a main

Ingredients
½ cup walnuts, broken up
2 cloves garlic, sliced
500 g pkt gnocchi
80 g baby spinach or home grown spinach
Less than 2/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup crumbled blue vein cheese

Instructions
Combine the walnuts and garlic together, and process them until roughly chopped.  I used a Bamix - or stick blender, but a processor would be fine also.

Add the spinach and half of the oil. Process this mixture until it is a thick paste.

With the motor running, add the remaining oil slowly, and process until it is combined. 
Add salt and pepper if desired.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling (salted) water till they pop up to the surface.  This will take about 7 to 9 minutes.

Drain the gnocchi, and return gnocchi to the pan.  Add the pesto and toss till the gnocchi is well coated, and green.

Top with the crumbled blue vein cheese, sprinkle with pepper and serve.


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