Golden balls: parmesan crusted gnocchi with homemade pesto

Golden balls: parmasan crusted gnocchi with pesto: Wimbledon Men's Final

Cooking and watching the Wimbledon final is a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon in my book. Yesterday’s dinner naturally had to be Wimbledon-themed: here the green grass is represented by pesto, while my golden parmesan-crusted gnocchi are taking on the role of the sunshine-yellow tennis balls.

Serves: 6

For the gnocchi:

450g plain flour

600g mashed potato

1 egg

Salt and pepper

A generous handful grated parmesan

For the pesto:

1 large bunch basil

1 handful pine nuts

2 handfuls grated parmesan

A generous slug olive oil

1 clove garlic


In a large bowl, add the potato, flour and egg, season and mix by hand to form a dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Divide into four and roll each section into a long sausage. Use scissors to snip each sausage into individual gnocchi.

Pop a large saucepan on the hob and fill with boiling water. Maintain at a simmer and drop in the gnocchi in batches. When the gnocchi float to the surface, fish them out with a slotted spoon, plunge into a bowl of iced water and set aside.

Now make the pesto, simply bung all the ingredients into a blender and whizz to a smooth paste, add more oil if too thick. Line the bottom of a baking dish with pesto, then cover with the cooked gnocchi and finally sprinkle over parmesan cheese and black pepper. Grill for 5-10 minutes until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Enjoy, hopefully without the bitter taste of defeat.


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