Gnocchi al Pesto Genovese

Written by: Sarah Ubertaccio



Time to read 1 min

Light and fluffy gnocchi are served in an aromatic, basil pesto in this simple summer dish.

Gnocchi al Pesto Genovese

Prep time

60 Minutes

Cook time

5 minutes




For the pasta:

1 pound (450 grams) fresh potato gnocchi

For the pesto:

1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons pine nuts (sub with cashews if you can’t find)
5-6 cups of fresh basil leaves (Italian basil, Genovese variety)
Kosher salt, adjust to taste
4 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
½ cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil, mild intensity

Special Equipment


Prepare the fresh potato gnocchi.

To prepare the pesto alla genovese: 

If using a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until green paste forms and there are no longer any large leaves or chunks of cheese.

If using a mortar and pestle, add the ingredients one at a time in this order.

First, add the garlic and pine nuts. Grind until the consistency of shortbread dough. The paste should hold together when pinched between two fingers. Remove the paste and set aside.

Next, add the basil leaves and salt. Crush in a circular motion with a pestle until you have a green paste.

Add in the garlic paste to the crushed basil and grind together. Finally, add in the grated cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzling the olive oil in last will help clean off any bits of pesto on your pestle and the sides of your mortar.

Taste and adjust as needed. If too garlicky, add in a bit more pine nuts. If too salty, remember not to salt your pasta water as much to balance out the flavor.

Sarah Ubertaccio