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Potato Gnocchi with Pistachio & Basil Pesto

Potato Gnocchi with Pistachio & Basil Pesto

From: Chef Ethan Stowell. Yield: 4 servings.

Pistachio & Basil Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1 cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
to taste, salt and pepper

Potato Gnocchi:
2 lb. russet potatoes, washed
4 large egg yolks
2 cups unbleached flour
2 Tbsp. salt
as needed, extra virgin olive oil

For pistachio and basil pesto: Place basil, pistachios and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is a rough puree. Add extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until oil, basil and pistachios have all combined into a smooth puree. Transfer sauce to a large work bowl. Fold in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For potato gnocchi: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush each potato with extra virgin olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and pass them through a food mill or potato ricer (yield: about 3 cups of sieved potatoes). On a clean work surface, mound sieved potatoes with a well in the middle. In the well, place egg yolks, 2 cups flour and the salt. Mix all ingredients together and make sure to dust work surface with additional flour as needed to avoid sticking.

Once potato dough has come together, knead until smooth and even with no visible bits of egg or flour. Keeping work surface and dough lightly floured, cut dough into 4 even pieces. With hands, roll each piece into a rope until diameter is about ½” thick. With a knife, cut down rope to form ½” x ½” squares. Dust gnocchi with flour and continue until all dough has been formed into gnocchi. Discard any irregular shaped gnocchi, as it will not cook evenly. Place gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan until ready to cook and serve. Bring a large pot of water to a soft boil. Drop gnocchi into the water. Work in batches if necessary and cook until all gnocchi float to the surface of the water, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove gnocchi from water and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with pistachio and basil pesto sauce to taste, season with salt and pepper and serve while hot with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.

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