Spinach Pesto Gnocchi with Sautéed Asparagus & Brown Butter

Spinach Pesto Gnocchi

with Sautéed Asparagus & Brown Butter

20 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Hearty, pillowy gnocchi pair beautifully with pesto, a versatile green sauce from Italian cuisine. Before tossing our gnocchi with a fresh pesto of spinach, almonds, capers and more, we’re sautéing them (alongside asparagus) in a pan of browned butter, for a layer of rich, nutty flavor. Their tender bite finds a delicious counterpoint in the delicate crunch of the asparagus.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    540 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Finely chop the almonds and capers. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces.

Cook the spinach & make the pesto:
2 Cook the spinach & make the pesto:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board and finely chop. Transfer the chopped spinach to a large bowl; stir in the almonds, capers, garlic paste and half the cheese. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the gnocchi:
3 Cook the gnocchi:

Add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot. Reserving ½ cup of the gnocchi cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Brown the gnocchi & cook the asparagus:
4 Brown the gnocchi & cook the asparagus:

In the pan used to cook the spinach, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 30 seconds, or until the butter foams. Once the foam subsides, add the cooked gnocchi and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the gnocchi are lightly browned and the asparagus has softened.

Finish the gnocchi:
5 Finish the gnocchi:

Transfer the browned gnocchi and cooked asparagus to the bowl of pesto. Add half the gnocchi cooking water; stir to thoroughly combine. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining gnocchi cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished gnocchi between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Finely chop the almonds and capers. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces.

2 Cook the spinach & make the pesto:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board and finely chop. Transfer the chopped spinach to a large bowl; stir in the almonds, capers, garlic paste and half the cheese. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the gnocchi:
3 Cook the gnocchi:

Add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot. Reserving ½ cup of the gnocchi cooking water, drain thoroughly.

4 Brown the gnocchi & cook the asparagus:

In the pan used to cook the spinach, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 30 seconds, or until the butter foams. Once the foam subsides, add the cooked gnocchi and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the gnocchi are lightly browned and the asparagus has softened.

Brown the gnocchi & cook the asparagus:
Finish the gnocchi:
5 Finish the gnocchi:

Transfer the browned gnocchi and cooked asparagus to the bowl of pesto. Add half the gnocchi cooking water; stir to thoroughly combine. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining gnocchi cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished gnocchi between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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