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.