Day 14 – Gnocchi with Broccoli, Peanut & Tomato Pesto

Nothing beats comfort food on a cold rainy Monday! After a long weekend, a wholesome gnocchi is the perfect evening treat. Gnocchi is one of those rich pasta’s that is quick, easy, affordable and extremely filling. It doesn’t need too many ingredients, which is why I usually just cook it with a pesto sauce. This time, I chose not to make the usual pesto; instead of using almonds or pine nuts- I used peanuts for a meatier finish- and instead of the regular parsley, I used Broccoli!

Today my friend Malaika joined me in the kitchen for her first all vegetarian cooking experience. Aside from being a great sous-chef (thank you for nearly pouring in apple cider vinegar instead of olive oil into the pesto mix :P) , She has also committed herself to taking the No Meat November Challenge and hopes to learn lots of new veg-recipes this month! Together, we put together gnocchi with a peanut and broccoli pesto.

(ps- A quick tip : This is a rich pesto and for some, the gnocchi may be too much- try the pesto sauce with fettuccine pasta instead or a flat whole-wheat pasta if you are watching your weight)

Here is how we did it:

Recipe

Gnocchi pasta

Handful of unsalted peanuts

1 cup of broccoli (only the heads not the shoot)

4-5 Fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons Tomato paste

Pinch of red chilli flakes

3 cloves of garlic

handful of Crimini mushrooms

Olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of Fresh thyme

Crushed black pepper

Directions:

Place your Gnocchi in a boiling pot with a little salt and allow to boil- Keep watching your gnocchi as it cooks extremely fast and if you allow it to over cook it’ll get really mushy.  Boil for 7-10 minutes on medium heat. Strain the Gnocchi well and wash over with cold water to get rid of extra starch. Allow to stand while you prepare your pesto!

Place unsalted peanuts into a roasting pan for about 8-10 minutes, shaking and tossing regularly. At the same time, lightly boil broccoli heads.

Once the peanuts and broccoli are done – place both into a food processor. Add 3 Table spoons of Olive oil, chopped basil leaves chopped cloves of garlic, pinch of salt, pinch of red chilli flakes – Mix all ingredients till they make a pesto (i.e. – are all well mixed and minced).

Take the pesto and place it in a low heat frying pan- add tomato sauce, chopped Crimini mushrooms – and mix together. let it heat for 2-3 minutes, allowing all the flavors to blend.

Finally, fold in the Gnocchi and Fresh Thyme. Mix till the pasta is fully covered with pesto sauce.  Garnish with Crushed Black pepper. And Serve!

I hope you enjoy the meal! Don’t forget to follow @NoMeatNovember on twitter for more recipes all this month !!

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