Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Walnut and tomato pesto with gnocchi, broccoli and feta

A couple of weeks back I went to visit a nearby Spotlight, a large fabric and craft store, only to find it had closed.  I had decided to take public transport down Sydney Road rather than driving to a large department store.  On the way back to save time, I went to the nearest supermarket rather than walk to our local ones.

Hours later I looked for my shopping bag and found I had left it at the shop.  I ended up driving back to the supermarket, thus neither saving time nor avoiding the car!  It was most displeasing.  Thank goodness for the Mediterranean Wholesalers supermarket for making the initial trip worthwhile.

I never cease to be amazed at the range of pasta at this supermarket.  I always want it all.  On this trip we were restrained and just bought one packet of coloured pasta, one packet of wholemeal pasta and one packet of tricolour gnocchi.  Being a supporter of Jacqueline's Pasta Please event, I decided to make a pesto (this month's theme hosted by Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes) to toss through the gnocchi.

I love a pesto filled with herbs but my lack of success in growing them often means I am faced with the choice of either rushing off to the supermarket to spend a lot on a little bag of greenery or making pesto with other flavourings.  Of course I often choose the latter.  This pesto was perfect for using what was in my cupboards, including some frozen parsley.  And it was vegan too.  It was very walnut-heavy, even with me adding extra seasoning.  However once served with panfried gnocchi, broccoli and feta, it was delicious.

This is the perfect dish for the change of seasons when warm days are fading. I made it while Sylvia played in the sandpit and paddling pool outside.  Unfortunately I think she would have preferred to eat sand than the gnocchi, even without the pesto.  Luckily, E and I were very happy with our dinner.  The remaining pesto was used in crackers and tomato sauce.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Snag Stand - cosmopolitan takeaway
Two years ago:  Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings
Three years ago: Flat pack chocolate chip cookies
Five years ago: Autumnal Bread and Salad

Walnut and tomato pesto
Adapted from Weird Combinations

3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sundried tomato packed in oil, drained
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp verjuice (or cider vinegar)
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Blend.  Check and adjust seasoning.  Store in the fridge or use straight away.

On the stereo:
The 5000 spirits or the layers of the onion: the Incredible String Band

13 comments:

  1. Aha! This avoids the pesky pine nut/basil combo that I dislike about real pesto!

    And ugh, criminey, I know the awfulness of forgetting things at the shop. Thank heavens they still had your groceries there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah - I love pinenuts and basil but they are not ingredients I have about regularly. Was v pleased my groceries were there esp as they were in a favourite fabric bag of mine

      Delete
  2. That gnocchi looks like absolutely delicious heaven. And you made it kinda virtuous! WIN WIN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Matt - definitely virtuous :-) wasn't my favourite pesto because the walnuts dominated but any pesto is great in so many foods!

      Delete
  3. What a fantastic pesto Johanna! I can't seem to grow herbs so I often buy big bunches of greenery. I wish I could because it would save me a lot! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine - the herbs that grow well are the ones I used least - oh the irony!

      Delete
  4. I like the sound of this non-traditional pesto because I don't much like the traditional ones. I also love the sound of this coloured gnocchi - coloured pasta is so much nicer than regular varieties and I am sure the same would extend to gnocchi. What a hassle about the trip though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kari - I love traditional green pesto because it is such a lovely colour but there is so much fun in trying out new pesto flavours - the sky's the limit! And even more fun with coloured pasta :-)

      Delete
  5. Don't you hate it when something like this stuffs up best made plans? What a gorgeous soubding dish - love gnocchi, and these are great flavours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I couldn't believe it when I started to look for my groceries. At least it was easier to go and get the bag than do the shopping again :-) I love gnocchi too - just don't cook with it that often!

      Delete
  6. Yes, a perfect meal for this season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cindy - more muted colours are right for autumn - not a time for bright greens of traditional pesto

      Delete
  7. I like the fact that pesto can really be made with anything green and tasty, so handy when you think you haven't got the 'right' ingredients in the kitchen. Thanks for entering this into Pasta Please

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you. Please feel welcome to share your feedback and questions. I have started using word verification recently to combat an avalanche of spam. Apologies for the hassle of reading the mysterious captcha code (refresh to find an easy one).