Gnocchi with Pesto


Gnocchi just happens to be a #GoFaster favourite of our young ambassador GB Polevaulter, Lucy Bryan, and her professional footballer brother, Bristol City's star defender Joe Bryan (yes, a very talented family, there's a rugby player in the mix too!) Good for Lucy, as since getting involved with Go Faster Food, she's taken it upon herself to 'encourage' her elder brother into the kitchen, to take more care of his nutrition - we'll be posting a video of the two of them making this delicious gnocchi dish shortly.


Warming, filling, heavenly comfort food for a cold winter's evening which also happens to be excellent post exercise recovery food! And a welcome diversion for a night off the rich, festive fare this December.


With an excellent ratio of medium-GI carbohydrate to protein and plenty of heart-friendly unsaturated fats, this feather-light gnocchi with pesto will replenish glycogen stores and restore muscles for those of you who might be in winter training.


And for those less active readers who just fancy a tasty meal, rest assured that it's jolly nourishing too!


You can buy good pre-prepared gnocchi and, for that matter, pesto, but there’s no turning back once you’ve made your own! This recipe has also, to date, been a popular one in our #eatlikeanathlete cooking workshops. It’s good fun to make (although slightly messy!), and really doesn’t take too long. Work quickly and carefully to achieve the lightest results.





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Ingredients to serve 4


For the gnocchi

500g floury potatoes (such as King Edward’s)

1 large, free-range egg, lightly beaten

150g plain flour (Italian ‘00 is best)

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper


For the pesto

500g pack of fresh gnocchi

50g fresh basil leaves

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped

Pinch of sea salt

50g pine nuts, lightly toasted

Freshly ground black pepper

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

50g parmesan cheese, grated

Juice of half a lemon, or to taste


Method - prep time 25 mins - cook time under 5 mins.


  1. Prepare the pesto. Pound the basil leaves with the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar or food processor, add the pine nuts, pepper and olive oil and pound or process again until the required consistency is achieved. Stir in the parmesan cheese and add a little lemon juice. The balance of ingredients really depends on taste, so don’t worry too much about exact quantities.




2. Prepare the gnocchi. Boil the potatoes in their skins in salted water for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, carefully remove the peel with a sharp knife. Mash or grate the potatoes, or mince in a potato ricer. Stir in the egg, flour, salt and plenty of black pepper.




3. Bring the mixture together with your hands into a ball and, on a floured surface, gently knead it, like dough, until soft and not too sticky. Divide into sections and roll each section into a sausage shape. 




4. Using a sharp knife, cut into little gnocchi (flattish oval balls), about 1 to 1 ½ cm in length and put them into a floured container. They are now ready to cook.




5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a gentle simmer and cook the gnocchi in batches, a handful at a time, for about 2 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately, tossed with a few spoonfuls of pesto.



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