Pasta makes a hearty meal, but sometimes your stomach craves a unique version. Make your own gnocchi using this relatively easy recipe. The addition of basil, tomatoes, and pine nuts creates a light dish perfect for a spring or summer cookout. This recipe makes four servings but you can adjust it to serve a large group, if desired.
You will need:
• 1 ½ cups instant mashed potatoes
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 cup all-purpose flour, and more for dusting
• 1 cup fresh basil, packed, and more for garnish
• ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese, and more for garnish
• Kosher salt
• Rolling pin
• Baking sheet
• Parchment paper
• Large pot
• 2 pounds tomatoes (heirloom preferred), cut into pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 shallots, diced
• ¼ cup dry white wine
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground pepper
• Kosher salt
• Large skillet
• Slotted spoon
• Paper towels
Step 1: Mix 1 cup of hot water and mashed potatoes in the bowl with the fork. Set the bowl aside for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes have absorbed the water.
Step 2: In the blender, puree ¼ cup of cold water and the basil until smooth. Stir pecorino, egg, basil puree, and 1 tablespoon of salt into the potatoes.
Step 3: Create a ¾ cup mound of flour on a flat surface. Add the potato mixture, kneading it with the flour until smooth. Continue kneading, adding the remaining ¼ cup of flour gradually.
Step 4: Divide this dough into 3 portions and roll each portion into a log measuring 1 inch in diameter. If needed, dust with flour during rolling.
Step 5: Cut each log into ½-inch portions and place each piece on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate.
Step 6: Heat olive oil in the skillet on medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and fry until these are toasted, swirling them in the pan. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to paper towels. Season the nuts with salt.
Step 7: Add garlic and shallots to the pan and cook 3 minutes or until soft. Add wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Add tomatoes and season with pepper and salt. Toss ingredients and cook them about 2 minutes or until the tomatoes become soft.
Step 8: Boil salted water in the pot. Add the gnocchi and cook until tender, which is about 1 minute after they have floated to the surface.
Step 9: Drain gnocchi in the colander and toss it with the sauce. Top gnocchi with additional pecorino, basil, and the toasted pine nuts.