Here is a unique, Pesto Gnocchi recipe using smoked gouda, walnuts and spinach rather than traditional basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. The Gnocchi is store bought and the pesto is homemade. I wanted to add a twist to traditional pesto recipes as I don't eat a lot of parmesan cheese. I experimented using smoked gouda (which I love) and it turned out great! You can try it out with other types of cheeses or nuts and each version will give you another set of flavors, all using the same base for the recipe. Let me know what you think by filling out the form below!
For the Pesto:
For the Pasta:
To prepare this dish, start by making the pesto. I like to make this ahead of time to make sure the flavors have a lot of time to blend. This will help make the flavors stronger. In a mini food processor, combine the spinach, smoked gouda, walnuts and garlic cloves. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then close the lid and pulse. Make sure to pulse until all the ingredients are blended together. If the end product looks like a paste, add a bit more olive oil, then pulse again. You don't want it to be too creamy nor do you want it to be too thick. In between is best, you'll need to play around to see what consistency you like. For this recipe, the 2 tablespoons worked best. Once the pesto is made, set it aside.
Meanwhile, in a pan, add about a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil, then add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes on medium temperature. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. While the ground beef is browning, grab a large sauce pan and fill it with water, set on the stove to High, and wait until it boils to add the gnocchi. As you are waiting for the water to boil, continue cooking the ground beef, once cooked, add the spinach and mix until wilted. You'll then need to add the beans and grape tomatoes. Once cooked, lower the temperature to low.
Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi. It takes no time at all to cook these, maybe about 2 minutes. You'll know they are done once they float to the top of the pan. Once done, ladle them out into a bowl. Pour the pesto and the rest of the ingredients onto the gnocchi, and mix.
Serve immediately. You can serve this dish as-is or serve it alongside a healthy side salad. If you want to keep this as a vegetarian dish, omit the ground beef.
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