For the first time “Meatless Monday” was a success. In part, I think this is due to it being unintentional. The harder I try to make my Mondays Meatless, the worse the meal is. This decision came about organically, my cravings got the best of me. After a Sunday afternoon snack of a Caprese Salad I still had a considerable amount of basil left in my refrigerator. Basil was my inspiration for the pesto and the new gnocchi I had purchased at Mariposa was the rest.
I have made pesto many times, and it usually leaves a strong taste of garlic in my mouth that sticks around for quite a few hours. This recipe has a lot of flavor, but by using a little less garlic and incorporating parsley in to the pesto you achieve the same results, you’re just left with less of a garlic finish.
Basil and Parsley Pesto
Yields 1/2 Cup
2 C. Fresh basil
1/2 C. Italian parsley
1/4 C. Toasted pine nuts (See author’s notes at bottom)
2 Cloves garlic- Rough chop
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
1/2 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1/2 C. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
Combine basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in to food processor. Pulse until blended. Turn on processor and slowly pour in olive oil. Scrape mixture in to bowl and stir in the cheese.
*Toasted Pine nuts- Put pine nuts in small saute pan on medium-low heat. Toss them around in pan periodically until they are lightly browned. Do not leave them unattended, they burn quickly and will become bitter.
Tomato & Mozzarella Mixture (Serves 2)- This mixture adds additional richness to the dish
1 Roma tomato- 1/2 inch chop
1/2 Mozzarella ovalini- 1/2 inch chop
2 Tbsp. EVOO
Salt/Pepper to season
Toss all of the above together and season to taste.
Remove gnocchi with slotted spoon and add directly to tomato and mozzarella. Mix until combined. Add 2 Tbsp. of the pesto to gnocchi. Mix and serve immediately.
*10 oz. Frozen Gnocchi (Serves 2)
I bought my Gnocchi from Mariposa Baking Co. (Click to see full review of Mariposa) They were very tasty and I will buy them again.
Please note: the directions say cook 8-10 min. or until they float. Go for when they float. Mine were floating at 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not over cook. Mine were perfect!
Arugula and Fennel Salad
1/2 Bag triple washed arugula
1/2 Bulb fennel- Thinly sliced
1/4 C. Shaved Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 Tbsp. Freshly squeeze lemon
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to season
Toss arugula and fennel together in a bowl. Add 1/2 of the shaved Parmesan and toss. Toss the salad with the EVOO, lemon and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and top with remaining cheese. Serve along side gnocchi.