This is a sublime pesto all vibrant, pungent and aromatic. It marries gloriously with “Urda gnocchi” and equally is delicious slathered on rye & seed crackers. Its excellent as a pasta sauce – add chopped green beans or chunks of pre-roasted eggplant for fabulously tasty vegetarian main courses and a personal fave…use as a sauce for grilled halloumi. As the first green wild garlic shoots appear in the woods in Spring, grab them and make something to wipe away dark winter memories.
50-100g fresh wild garlic (including stalks)
50g parsley (counters the effects of the garlic and adds yet more chlorophyll)
40g walnuts or almonds
25g parmesan – cubed (optional – not a disaster if you do not add parmesan)
2 garlic cloves (excessive but good)
85ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The zest of 1 lemon 9I think the lemon is quite important to the taste – try not to omit)
Salt and pepper
Equipment: a blender, food processor or stick blender
- Put all the ingredients except the olive oil into your blender
- Whiz together and with the motor still running, pour the oil in until the pesto thickens. You may need to press down on the leaves to make sure they are processed.
- Store in a clean jar in the fridge covered with a layer of oil to prevent it drying out and oxidizing.
A long time ago I tried to make gnocchi. The plot involved an Italian boyfriend, sleep deprivation and a fabulous walnut sauce. The plot, alas, got lost: The gnocchi dissolved into something akin to prisoner of war camp potato soup or being more charitable: wallpaper paste. The fabulous sauce dried up and was never used. The boyfriend sneered. I sulked.
Fast forward a number of years, a desire to vanquish the gnocchi demon and a sneaking suspicion that some little dumplings made with “Urda” (a Romanian ricotta like cheese made from whey and very high in protein) and sexed up with a fabulous pesto would work. And work it does.
Gnocchi work well with all manner of sauces but they seem particularly delicious with a more piquant sauce…this garlicky, lemony, almondy sauce does the trick.
These gnocchi are fast, they freeze (use direct from the freezer) and they work with many sauces. Give them a go and you will have a wonderful earthy comfort food dish mastered perhaps a bit faster than I managed.
go in with your hands!
This is a glorious tart crust to make because as you mould the pastry with your hands the oils give you the best hand moisturizing treatment ever! The pastry is malleable and lends itself to being pushed around, meanwhile you don’t need to worry about rolling out pastry.