Super Simple: Gnocchi with Pesto and String Beans

I have a love of cooking, but what I don’t love spending long hours in the kitchen. Although I enjoy experimenting with new flavors and relish the rush I feel when a recipe turns out just right, I’ve never been one to enjoy slaving away over recipes that involve hours of simmering, or precise instructions in which a shaky hand can ruin an entire dish in seconds. I want recipes that get me in and out of my kitchen and on with life, but still leave me with plates of food that were not prepared from a box or in a microwave.

So, instead of trying to convince anyone of my superior kitchen prowess (which I don’t have), I’m trying to embrace my love of simpler recipes. This is a new favorite that is definitely going to be showing up in my kitchen quite a bit more: gnocchi cooked with some chopped green beans and tossed with a fresh pesto. If you’ve never made pesto – don’t be afraid of it. The food processor makes everything for you and no matter what ratio of ingredients you add, it is incredibly difficult to make it taste bad. Trust me, I would know. As for the gnocchi, I didn’t make these from scratch, but I’ve found some really great packaged ones that you simply cook for a few minutes in boiling water. Saves me time and still tastes just delicious. Winner, winner, gnocchi dinner. (I know, right? I am stunningly clever today.)

Gnocchi with Pesto and Green Beans

I always forget to buy pine nuts when I make pesto. I do think that pesto tastes better if you have some on hand, but it’ll still taste yummy without it.

3-4 cups fresh basil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated or cut into small chunks
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
1 package gnocchi (about 1 lb)
3 cups chopped green beans

In a food processor, blend together the basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the pesto reaches desired consistency. You want it somewhere between chunky and runny. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, adding in the chopped green beans at least one minute before they’re done cooking. I added them in once the gnocchi began to float and then cooked everything for about 1-2 minutes more.

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the gnocchi and green beans and return them to the pot. Add in the pesto and stir over low heat for a couple of minutes to really loosen up the pesto flavors. If the sauce is too thick just add in a little cooking liquid.

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5 Thoughts on “Super Simple: Gnocchi with Pesto and String Beans

  1. Perfect timing! I just got a ton of basil from the market this weekend and was hoping either you or Adrianna had a pesto recipe I could use.

  2. Yum! This looks delightful! Love this idea!

  3. Maaike on June 17, 2012 at said:

    I made this almost two weeks ago and have been meaning to tell you how yummy and easy it was. I’ve never tried gnocchi before, I always thought it was some weird Russian food, that was maybe served with borscht….now it might be my new favorite food! So thanks!!

    • Caroline on June 18, 2012 at said:

      I was always intimidated by gnocchi, but now that there are so many great ones you can buy I’m in LOVE. Glad you love it to!

  4. Pingback: Recipes of the Week! (11/18-11/22) | Marigold Mustard

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