Vegetarian Pesto Gnocchi With Green Beans and Tomatoes Recipe
Depending on where you get it, pesto can be a crapshoot. Individually, its components—olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts—are loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats, but if the balance is askew, then your nutritional intake will be, too. Mess with the simplicity of pesto by adding things like cream, and you can kiss your chances of healthy eating goodbye. When you make this pesto gnocchi, figure 2 tablespoons per plate—and throw in some healthy extras like tomatoes and green beans to bring substance and balance to the bowl.
Nutrition: 490 calories, 22 g fat (7 g saturated), 830 mg sodium
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb green beans
1-pint cherry tomatoes
1 package(16oz) potato gnocchi (Gnocchi are usually made from three parts potato and one part flour. They're available in the pasta aisle of most supermarkets.)
1⁄2 cup pesto
1 cup bite-size cubes of fresh mozzarella
Freshly grated Parmesan
How to Make It
- Set a large pot of water over high heat. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil and green beans to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, then toss in the tomatoes and continue to cook until the green beans are tender (but still crisp) and the tomatoes are browned on the outside. Remove from the heat.
- Salt the water after it reaches a boil.
- Drop the gnocchi in and cook until they float to the surface (4 to 5 minutes).
- Drain and add the gnocchi to the pan with the green beans and tomatoes. Stir in the pesto and mozzarella.
- Divide among 4 warm plates or bowls and top with a bit of grated Parmesan.
Eat This Tip
Though it may pain some Italians to admit it, the pesto possibilities don't start and stop with basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. Pesto can be made from dozens of different ingredients and used not just to top pasta but also to spike vinaigrettes, sauce grilled chicken, or spread on sandwiches. Combine any of the following with olive oil in a food processor.
- Sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, and Parmesan
- Jalapeño, almonds, and red onions
- Cilantro, garlic, and pumpkin seeds
- Switch out basil for kale in a traditional pesto recipe
This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!