Potato Gnocchi With Pistachio And Basil Pesto by Ethan Stowell

4 servings.

For pistachio and basil pesto:
2 cups Fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1 cup Pistachios, shelled, toasted
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper

For potato gnocchi:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, washed
4 Large egg yolks
2 cups Unbleached flour
2 tablespoons Salt
Extra virgin olive oil 


Preheat oven to 350°F.
For pistachio and basil pesto:
Place basil, pistachios and garlic cloves in a food processor; pulse until a rough puree.Add extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until oil, basil and pistachios have all combined into a smooth puree. Transfer sauce to a large work bowl; fold in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For potato gnocchi:
Brush each potato lightly with extra virgin olive oil.Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and bake in oven until tender, for about one hour.When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and pass them through a food mill or potato ricer which yields about 3 cups of sieved potatoes. On a clean work surface, mound sieved potatoes with a well in the middle. In the well place egg yolks, 2 cups of flour and salt.Mix all the ingredients together and make sure to dust work surface with additional flour as needed to avoid sticking.
Once potato dough has come together, knead until smooth and even, with no visible bits of egg or flour. Keeping work surface and dough lightly floured, cut dough into 4 even pieces.With hands, roll each piece into a rope until diameter is about 1/2 inch thick.With a knife, cut down the rope to form 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch squares.Dust gnocchi with flour and continue until all dough has been formed into gnocchi.Discard any irregular shaped gnocchi, as it will not cook evenly.Place gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan until ready to cook and serve.
Bring a large pot of water to a soft boil. Drop gnocchi into the water, work in batches if necessary, and cook until all gnocchi float to the surface of the water, about 1-2 minutes.Remove gnocchi from water and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with pistachio and basil pesto sauce to taste, season with salt and pepper and serve while hot with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!