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Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus

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Looking for the perfect easy showstopper of a spring meal? This pesto gnocchi with asparagus is just what you need! It’s homemade pesto tossed with gnocchi and sautéed asparagus and can be served at room temperature, cold, or hot!

Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus in a bowl topped with pine nuts.

Looking for the perfect low-stress yet big flavor Mother’s Day or spring meal?

Well, this pesto gnocchi with asparagus is just what you need!

It can be served cold, hot, or even at room temperature and only takes 15 minutes to make.

The best part is that the 15 minutes accounts for making homemade pesto! That’s right, this dish is made using homemade pesto, soft pillowly gnocchi, and crunchy springtime asparagus.

You’ll love this simple dish – trust me!

Ingredients to make Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus.

Ingredients for pesto gnocchi

  • Gnocchi – I’m using dried gnocchi but you could use fresh or frozen! Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. 
  • Asparagus – I love asparagus but you could use pretty much any vegetable you like– peas, small broccoli florets, etc. 
  • Pine nuts – Pine nuts are the base of our pesto– they add richness and great nutty flavor. 
  • Garlic – Helps add great flavor to the pesto.
  • Lemon – This helps add brightness and acidity to the pesto.
  • Basil – The key to a great pesto is basil. Make sure it is fresh and not bruised. We don’t want bitter pesto.
  • Parmesan cheese – Adds a nutty saltiness to the pesto but if you prefer this recipe to be vegan, feel free to substitute a dairy-free parmesan or leave it out entirely.
  • Olive oil – Helps turn the pesto from a paste to a sauce. I recommend a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus in a skillet.

Best gnocchi to use

For this recipe I used dried gnocchi which you can easily find in the pasta or Italian international aisle of the grocery store.

You can also use frozen or fresh gnocchi depending on what you can find.

You’ll have to adjust the cooking time based on the exact type of gnocchi you use but no matter the exact type you use the recipe should remain quick and easy.

Using store bought pesto

If you’re wondering if you can use store bought pesto the answer is – of course!

However, if you have the ingredients on hand to make it from scratch there is nothing that compares to basil heavy homemade pesto.

Adding in protein

You can easily bulk this meal up by stirring in shredded rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or serve along a side of roasted salmon or white fish.

Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus in a white bowl.

Storage and leftovers

This gnocchi dish is the perfect leftover meal! Mostly because it can be eaten cold, hot, or even room-temperature.

Store any leftovers in an air tight container for up 3-4 days.

Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus in a bowl with a spoon.

More easy gnocchi meals

Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus

Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Looking for the perfect easy showstopper of a spring meal? This pesto gnocchi with asparagus is just what you need! It's homemade pesto tossed with gnocchi and sauteed asparagus and can be served at room temperature, cold, or hot! 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound dried gnocchi
  • 2 cups asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1 inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Keep the water at a boil until you’re ready to cook the gnocchi. 
  2. Add the pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken up, about 10 pulses. 
  3. Next, add the basil and parmesan and pulse until the basil is broken into small pieces, about 10 pulses. 
  4. With the food processor on low speed, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes, or just until crisp-tender. 
  8. While the asparagus cooks, cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes less than the time on the package. My gnocchi usually takes 6 minutes to boil, so I cooked them for 4 minutes.
  9. Reserve 1/2 cup of the gnocchi cooking liquid and then drain the gnocchi. 
  10. Add the gnocchi to the skillet with the asparagus.
  11. Add the pesto and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute, just until the pesto sauce thickens and evenly coats the gnocchi. If the sauce is too dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. 
  12. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, at room temperature, or place in the fridge to chill.
  13. This gnocchi is delicious at room temperature, warm, or cold! Top with flakey sea salt, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil, if desired. 
  14. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus pin for Pinterest.

Natalie

Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Healthy and tasty recipe and we all loved it. I never made asparagus this way, thank you! Next time I will try and even make homemade gnocchi, can`t wait!

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