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Easy Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Winter Kale Pesto

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Easy Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Winter Kale Pesto

When these pillows first hit your palate, you taste that rich full sauce. Then the tang of the goat cheese builds and blends with the other flavors. Oh my goodness! For me this is a Remy-flavor-synergy-happiness-moment. If you don’t know what I am talking about, click here for a clip from the greatest movie ever made. 🙂

In my culinary school restaurant, I spent so much time making gnocchi. It was one of those methods that just seemed important to master. And it is one that, if you allow yourself to be “in the moment” as you prepare it, it is an absolute joy to make. In the restaurant, we made a traditional potato gnocchi with ricotta. Yummy! But time-intensive. This goat cheese gnocchi is MUCH quicker to make, and it does not disappoint.

Any gnocchi makes a great make ahead, leaving you with very little to do the night you wish to serve them. This one is perfect for impressing someone you love. They will appreciate the extra effort you took for them, but you do not have to tell them how easy it was. Very few ingredients create amazing flavor!

Are you ready? Her’s how!

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Making you dough

In a mixing bowl, place goat cheese and egg. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. You only need a little because your goat cheese is already delicious. You are just bumping up flavor for the flour you will be adding.

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Crumble your goat cheese to make it easier to beat.

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Thoroughly blend ingredients together. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to incorporate ingredients.

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Add sifted flour a little at a time and mix together until a sticky dough is formed.

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You will have a little flour left over, up to 1/4 cup. At this point, I like to chill the dough for a few minutes to make it easier to manipulate.

Roll about 1/4 of the dough and place on a floured surface. Leave the remaining dough in the fridge.

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Roll the dough until it is formed into a “snake” shape.

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Cut dough into 1 inch pieces.

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If desired, use a fork or a gnocchi board to create little indentions into each gnocchi pillow. You do not have to do this, but it will give you little grooves to hold any sauce into which you toss you cooked gnocchi.

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Repeat with all remaining dough, collecting them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. At this point, I like to place the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 20 minute, or until gnocchi chills and sets.

Ah! Little soldiers lined up in a row and ready to serve.

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Then they can go into a plastic bag for use any time you like. I LOVE make-aheads!

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Cooking Your Gnocchi

Cook gnocchi by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi (freshly made or frozen), a few at a time, being careful that they stay separated.

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They will cook on the bottom of the pot for a few minutes.

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When they float to the top, continue cooking for 1-2 minute.

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Remove with a slotted spoon.

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Mmmmmmmmmm

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Toss your little dumplings with pesto or any sauce you like. Bolognese or a pork and tomato Italian gravy is delicious!

I am keeping this one vegetarian. Kale pesto adds its own flavor layers without overwhelming the gnocchi. Because almonds pair BEAUTIFULLY with goat cheese, for this gnocchi, I put almonds in the pesto. The flavors sing together.

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On the side, I am adding tomatoes in a lemon-vinaigrette to cut the richness of the cheesy gnocchi. Yum!

These chocolaty brown tomatoes beckoned me at Whole Foods.

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Just wash and halve or quarter your tomatoes. use a prepared vinaigrette or make your own. I just diced a little shallot, and whisked it together with 3 parts extra virgin olive oil and one part fresh lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper, to taste. Toss in tomatoes. Done!

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If desired, garnish with shaved Parmesan.

If you want, you can also load those tomatoes up on a nice thick slice of crusty bread. Check out this super simple Bruschetta recipe.

Easy Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Winter Kale Pesto

This recipe yields about 45 beautiful little gnocchi pillows. If desired, you can easily double the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (preferable organic), sifted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • kale pesto, or a prepared pesto (you only need 1/2 recipe of kale pesto)
  • optional: cherry tomatoes with lemon vinaigrette
  • optional: Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish

Method

In a mixing bowl, beat together goat cheese and egg. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to incorporate ingredients. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. to taste, and blend. This is to season the flour; the goat cheese is already delicious.

Add sifted flour a little at a time and mix together until a sticky dough is formed. You will have a little flour left over, up to 1/4 cup. At this point, I like to chill the dough for a few minutes to make it easier to manipulate.

Roll about 1/4 of the dough and place on a floured surface. Leave the remaining dough in the fridge. Roll the dough until it is formed into a “snake” shape. Cut dough into 1 inch pieces. If desired, use a fork or a gnocchi board to create little indention into each gnocchi pillow. You do not have to do this, but it will give you little grooves to hold any sauce into which you toss you cooked gnocchi.

Repeat with all remaining dough, collecting them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. At this point, I like to place the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 20 minute, or until gnocchi chills and sets. Then they go into a plastic bag for use any time you like.

Cook gnocchi by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi (freshly made or frozen), a few at a time, being careful that they stay separated. They will cook on the bottom of the pot for a few minutes. When they float to the top, continue cooking for 1-2 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Toss with pesto or sauce. Serve.

You can make Kale Pesto in advance. Refrigerate it and let those flavors develop even more. Get recipe here.

Enjoy!

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