Ricotta Gnocchi with Basil and Spinach Pesto

For a simple, nutritious and delicious mid week dinner why not try Kate McIntosh’s recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi with Basil and Spinach Pesto. Packed with flavour and even some hidden greens, this is a meal the whole family will enjoy.

Serves 4

Prep time: 25 minutes



500g ricotta
60g parmesan, grated
1 egg
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
150g (1 cup) 00 pasta flour, plus extra for rolling


2 bunches (roughly 120g) basil leaves (incl. stems)
1 small bag (60g) baby spinach leaves
70g (1/2 cup) pine nuts, lightly toasted
70g parmesan cheese, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
75ml (1/3 cup) olive oil


  1. Mix ricotta, parmesan, egg, lemon zest and chilli (if using). Add flour a bit at a time, stirring, until you have a consistency like thick mashed potato.  Take a quarter of the gnocchi mixture and place on a very well floured surface.  With floured hands gently roll the dough into a long thin log shape (approx. 3cm diameter).  With a floured knife, cut the dough into 3cm pieces and repeat with remaining mixture.
  2. Boil a large pan of salted water and cook gnocchi in 3 batches. The gnocchi is cooked when it floats to the surface.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a tray or plate lined with cling film.  Refrigerate until needed or gnocchi can be frozen now.
  3. For pesto, blend all ingredients in a food processor and season to taste.
  4. Heat a large frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and add gnocchi, browning lightly on both sides, then stir through pesto and serve.