Sunday, August 2, 2009

Homemade gnocchi with eggplant and fresh pesto

Lately I have made a lot of Italian dishes and somehow neglected others. S. already complained today that I think I have to make some more Indian dishes next week.:-) However I made homemade gnocchi the other day and really wanted to post it as it turned out really well and even S. liked it very much. So here goes the recipe.


For the gnocchi:
- 7 medium potatoes
- 4 ½ cups unbleached white flour
- ½ cup semolina

For the eggplant vegetable:
- 1 big eggplant, cubed
- 2 big tomatoes, chopped
- Pinch asafoetida/hing
- 1 Tsp. Coriander powder
- ½ Tsp. Cumin powder
- ½ Tsp. Red pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil

For the pesto:
- 1 big bunch basil
- 2 Tbsp. Roasted pine nuts
- 4 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Traditionally garlic is added in pesto which I mostly omit. Per your choice you can add one clove of garlic.


For the gnocchi boil the potatoes till soft but still firm. Peel and mash in a large bowl when still hot. Add the flour and semolina and knead to a smooth dough. It should not be sticky. Divide dough in 2 parts and roll into a long thin roll. This goes best when taking the dough roll between your palms and roll. Cut the roll into ½-inch pieces and press down slightly with a fork to make a pattern on the gnocchi. In a large pot bring salted water to boil. Add the gnocchi and boil till the gnocchi come up to the surface. Drain.

For the eggplant vegetable heat oil in a pan and add the asafoetida. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook covered till eggplant is almost done with occasional stirring. Add spice powders and salt. Mix well and cook for about 2 more minutes. Take off heat.

For the pesto grind basil with half of the oil to a paste. If adding garlic grind with basil. Then add the pine nuts, Parmesan, salt, black pepper and rest of oil and grind to a paste. Keep in an airtight container and fill up with olive oil till pesto is covered. This helps in keeping the pesto fresh.

Serve gnocchi with eggplant and pesto.
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