Spring Sweet Pea Gnocchi With Pea & Mint Pesto
The arrival of sweet peas at The Market is a sign from nature that summer is well on its way!
While sweet peas are delicious enjoyed straight from the pod, they're also an incredibly versatile ingredient to cook with. They are well suited for puréeing for soups or sauces, adding to pasta dishes, risottos, sautés, salads, stir-fries and of course — gnocchi!
Although it's hard to think of an herb that isn't a beautiful compliment to sweet peas, mint is probably our favourite.
If you haven't experienced the dynamite flavour combination of sweet peas and mint before, get ready for the pesto in this recipe — you'll be eating it on everything!
Pair it with these soft, delicate, pillowy homemade gnocchi infused with sweet peas and you have heaven on a plate!
If you've made gnocchi from scratch before, you'll know it's a bit of a labour of love but nothing to be scared of!
In fact, the steps to make these pillowy light potato dumplings are very straightforward, and only require a little patience. And the finished product is SO worth it.
So, let's get started!
This recipe makes 6-8 servings of gnocchi so feel free to half the recipe if you to make less gnocchi!
For the Sweet Pea Puree
For the Sweet Pea Gnocchi
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes or Russet potatoes
- 1 cup sweet pea puree (see ingredients above)
- 2 x Homestead eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 cups K2 Milling "Viking" AP flour
For the Sweet Pea & Mint Pesto Cream Sauce
- 1 cup fresh sweet peas
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup Mike & Mike's organic almonds
- ¼ cup shredded Handeck
- 1 generous handful fresh Mike & Mike's organic mint leaves
- ½ tsp Vancouver Island Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ heavy cream (optional)
For the Sweet Pea Puree
In a large pot over high heat, bring water to a rolling boil and add a liberal amount of salt.
In the meantime, get a bowl of ice water ready, you will need this to "shock" your peas and stop the cooking process after the blanching them.
When the water comes to a boil, drop your peas and chopped green onion into the water and cook for 30 seconds.
Immediately remove them from the boiling water by scooping them out of the pot using a mesh strainer and dump them directly into the prepared ice bath.
Do not throw out the cooking water! You'll notice the water has a nice green hue. Reserve this water for your pea puree.
When the peas and scallions have cooled completely (this will only take a minute or two), drain them from the ice bath and add them to a blender along with the salt, lemon zest and ⅓ cup of the reserved cooking water to bring the puree together.
Blend the mixture until smooth. Next, you can either run the puree through a your mesh strainer or use the unstrained puree to add more flavour and texture to your gnocchi!
For the Sweet Pea Gnocchi
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil the skin of your Yukon Gold potatoes. Using a fork, poke several holes in the skin of the potatoes and then put on a baking sheet and bake for an hour (or until tender).
Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes and then carefully remove the skin while the potatoes are still hot.
Put the peeled potatoes through a ricer or food mill. Or, if you don't have either, you can grate your potatoes through a small holed grater once they are cool enough to handle.
Once you're done ricing your potatoes, place them in a large bowl and form a well in the middle. Add 1 cup of pea puree, salt and pepper, and two cracked eggs.
Use a fork to gently stir the pea puree together with the salt, pepper and eggs and gradually start bringing in the the potato.
Once your potato is incorporated, start sprinkling in your flour and begin mixing. Be careful not to over mix. You want to only mix until your flour is incorporated.
When the dough starts to come together, turn it out on to a floured surface and gently fold the dough to knead it a few times. You don't want to over-knead your dough or this will result in a dense gnocchi.
If the dough is very wet, add more flour in 1 tbsp increments until it comes together. The dough should be soft, smooth and a little sticky.
Once the dough is just formed, set it aside and prepare to cut your gnocchi. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust the surface with flour. Lightly flour your work surface as well.
Grab a handful of the gnocchi dough and roll it out into a long, thin log.
Using a knife or scraper, cut the gnocchi to whatever size you prefer. After each cut gnocchi, place them on your parchment paper lined sheet pans, spaced apart so none of the gnocchi are touching.
Let the gnocchi rest for about 30 minutes before cooking.
For Your Pea & Mint Pesto
This is literally the easiest thing to make and so INSANELY delicious.
Combine all your ingredients for the sweet pea and mint pesto sauce with the exception of the heavy cream (sweet peas, olive oil, almonds, cheese, mint, salt and pepper) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Set your cream aside.
Cook the Gnocchi
Now that the gnocchi has had time to rest, bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, this time with no flour.
Once boiling, take 3 to 4 gnocchi at a time and drop them into the boiling water. Once the gnocchi start to float, let them cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes and then remove them from the water with a mesh strainer. You can set them aside on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Repeat until you have all your gnocchi cooked.
Next, melt 1 tbsp of Golden Dawn salted butter in a frying pan and heat on medium heat. Take a portion of the gnocchi and saute them in the butter until lightly browned.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup cup of the mint pesto to the gnocchi along with 1/4 cup of cream.
Add a handful or two of fresh sweet peas and combine. Serve hot garnished with chopped mint and lemon zest.
Did you try this recipe? We want to see your finished product! Tag us on Instagram @themarketat100kmfood!