Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gnocchi with Shrimp and Homemade Pesto

Notice the title of this recipe is not “Homemade Gnocchi with Shrimp and Pesto.” Maybe someday I’ll be willing to attempt gnocchi, but not today. I’m deep into plotting the next Fool’s Gold books, so I needed something I could make while I was distracted by story ideas.

By the way, FINDING PERFECT will be in stores on August 31. I have received a lot of reader mail about Raoul since he appeared in SWEET SPOT in 2008, and about Pia since CHASING PERFECT came out earlier this year, so I’m really eager for readers to see these two strong personalities find each other. You can read a free excerpt of FINDING PERFECT at

So… back to the gnocchi. If you want to make homemade gnocchi, I suggest you try this recipe from A Tasteful Garden: Homemade Gnocchi

My inspiration for Gnocchi with Shrimp and Homemade Pesto was this Cooking Light recipe on Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto It looks delicious, but there were two reasons I didn’t follow it exactly. First, I made asparagus last week, and I want to have variety in this blog and on our dinner table. And second, their pesto didn’t use olive oil.

I’m sorry, but that’s morally wrong.

I started out by making the pesto. I made a lot of it because I remember reading once that you could freeze leftover pesto in ice cube trays and then grab a cube whenever the mood struck.

Homemade Pesto Sauce

2 C Fresh basil, tightly packed
2 cloves garlic
½ C Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ C Pine nuts
½ C Extra virgin olive oil

Put the first four ingredients in a food processor and pulse six times. Add the olive oil and process until it looks well chopped and well mixed. (How’s that for technical recipe jargon?)

Use immediately. Freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. Once they’re frozen, you can pop them out of the tray and store them in a Ziploc bag. These are very handy.

Gnocchi with Shrimp and Pesto

Note: I took out the word “homemade” here because you can substitute jarred pesto sauce for the homemade pesto sauce.

1 16-oz package of vacuum-packed gnocchi
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 C prepared pesto sauce
Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat a pot of water to boiling. Dump all the gnocchi into the water. As the gnocchi floats to the top (after a couple of minutes), remove it from the water with a slotted spoon. Add the shrimp to the water and boil for about five minutes, until the shrimp is opaque. Put all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. If desired, top with additional Parmesan cheese. And why wouldn’t you want to do that? Cheese is almost always desirable!

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