Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

So much to say about this one.

Like how I was in a horrible mood on Monday night before we made this. Or how Joey’s mom gifted us with the bouquet of fresh homegrown basil we used for it. Or how paying over $4 for pine nuts when macadamia nuts are only $2 is plain stupid. But let’s start at the beginning.

When we were in Vail a few weekends ago, I had an amazing gnocchi dish at Bol. Crispy gnocchi, spicy arugula, toasty pine nuts and perfectly sautéed zucchini slices. Ohhhhh. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. So even though I was in a bad mood and it was already kind of late and I didn’t really have a concrete plan for recreating my amazing dinner, I just kind of went with it. And here’s the thing. It turned out amazing.

Like, “this is better than the original” amazing.

Like instant mood lifter amazing.

Like write about it immediately after putting my fork down amazing.

Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I just used those little bags from the baking aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (+ more to sauté zucchini and brown gnocchi)
  • 1 package gnocchi
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3-4 cups arugula
  1. To make pesto, combine basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and macadamia nuts (reserve 1-2 tablespoons nuts) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add cheese and pulse to combine, then drizzle in olive oil and process until it all comes together.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add gnocchi and cook until gnocchi pieces float to the surface then drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  4. Slice zucchini, then heat a drizzle of olive oil and add zucchini slices to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until soft and slightly browned.
  5. Remove zucchini, add another drizzle of olive oil and place gnocchi in the pan in a single layer. Add remaining macadamia nut pieces to toast with gnocchi. Once gnocchi are browned, flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Add in arugula, cook for 1 minute or until just barely wilted.
  7. Add gnocchi mixture to zucchini in a large bowl. Thin pesto out by mixing 2-3 tablespoons pesto with 3-4 tablespoons reserved water.
  8. Mix pesto into gnocchi mixture, serve and be astounded by how good everything is.

Serves 3-4

Total Time: 30 minutes

Guaranteed to erase bad moods and give swanky upscale restaurants a run for their money.

8 thoughts on “Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

  1. I’ve always loved the idea of pesto, but have never been a huge fan of pine nuts. I never thought to just replace them with a different nut. This looks amazing!

  2. Lauren- Do you ever get scared to try new things? We end up eating basically the same thing every night with a few exeptions, but it’s mainly because I’m worried that what try isn’t going to turn out well. And if it doesn’t turn out well then I feel like I’ve wasted my time and my money. I guess its all about trial and error though, right? The other night I tried making twice baked potatoes for the first time on my own. To say the least, they were under-cooked and bland. How do I get my cooking confidence back?!

    • Anna, can I start off by saying I mess up in the kitchen all.the.time! Luckily, Joey and I are human garbage cans and will eat almost anything. Although that doesn’t mean I don’t get upset about it. A lot of unladylike language occurs in my kitchen 🙂 Honestly, it’s a lot of trial and error. Oh, and a lot of phone calls to my mom asking how to do stuff. I HATE cooking with potatoes because they take SO long to cook and I always mess them up!

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