zoom Gnocchi with watercress and hazelnut pesto

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    Gnocchi with watercress and hazelnut pesto

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    Gnocchi with watercress and hazelnut pesto

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes

    Serves: 4


    875g (about 3) medium- sized baking potatoes
    30g blanched hazelnuts
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    100g watercress, tough stalks discarded
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    ½ tsp fine salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Prick the potatoes with a fork; put on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the flesh is soft to the point of a knife.

    2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put the hazelnuts, garlic and a large pinch of salt in the small bowl of a food processor; whizz until roughly chopped. Add the watercress (reserve a little to garnish), lemon juice and oil and whizz again, until combined but still with a little texture. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, stirring well before use.

    3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt. Once the potatoes are cooked, hold them with a tea towel and cut them in half, then scoop out all of the flesh with a spoon. Then, wearing protective gloves, use a potato ricer or fine grater to grate the flesh over the flour. Add the egg and bring everything together with a wooden spoon. As soon as the mixture begins to clump together, use clean hands to lightly knead it into a smooth dough. Don’t overwork the mixture.

    4. Dust the work surface with a little more flour, then tip out the dough and pat into a 2-3cm thick square. Cut into 2cm-wide strips and roll these gently to smooth the edges and create long sausages. Cut into 1cm-long gnocchi, dusting with flour and rolling each over the tines of a fork while pressing with the pad of your thumb to create light indentations.

    5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil; reduce to a gentle simmer. Add ½ the gnocchi. Stir once and wait for them to rise to the surface (this should happen within 1 minute). Cook for 15 seconds more, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the other ½. Gently toss the gnocchi with the pesto to coat, then season. Divide between plates and serve at once, garnished with the reserved watercress. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, September 2018 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue


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