I have been feeling more adventurous and motivated recently, in all things: work, domestic enterprises (aka cooking and decorating), finding new places to go and things to do. I think it’s a combination of this beautiful springtime weather (this time last year it was snowing on a weekly basis) and the excitement of my parents’ visit this weekend (I CANNOT WAIT!). Last week I was inspired by a recipe posted by Chocolate Covered Race Medals. She made delightful looking arugula gnocchi. Hello, yum much? So I thought I would mix it up a bit and test out arugula and basil pesto with gnocchi. I am a wee bit obsessed with pesto, and the hubs and I are huge fans of arugula. It’s got a lemony peppery taste that just brightens up any dish.
After hunting for a good recipe, I found this one courtesy of Emeril Lagasse (BAM!). I added some sautéed mushrooms and my favorite Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle from Savory Spice Shop (just in case it wasn’t pesto-y enough), but otherwise followed the recipe this time. Luckily we made so much pesto that we have extra left over. Needless to say there will be a pesto pizza in our future, as in tomorrow night’s dinner.
Arugula and Basil Pesto with Gnocchi and Mushrooms
4 cups baby arugula
4 cups basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus ¼ cup to mix in later
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle
1 cup sautéed mushrooms
1 pound fresh gnocchi (we made a half pound and saved the rest of the pesto for pesto pizza!)
In the bowl of a food processor (or Vitamix), combine arugula, basil, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan, and garlic. With the motor running, add 1 cup olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle to taste.
Sautee the mushrooms in a dash of olive oil in a separate pan. Once sautéed, keep them in the pan, as you will use this to combine the mushrooms with gnocchi and pesto. In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the gnocchi. Cook until they rise to the surface (just a few minutes for fresh pasta, but check package instructions.) Drain well, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
In the pan with the mushrooms, combine pesto with remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and reserved pasta water. Pesto should become a sauce-like consistency. Add gnocchi and toss to combine. Serve warm and garnish with extra parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
It was easy-peasy and so delicious. I am so excited for tomorrow’s dinner. Imagine it: pesto pizza with grilled chicken, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Is it tomorrow night yet?
Don’t you just love pesto – what’s your favorite surprise ingredient? Anything fun on the menu this week?