Ottawa·Recipe

Make your own gnocchi al pesto from scratch

Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go, a new Venetian eatery in the Byward Market, serves up freshly made pasta and sauces. Here's how to make one of their favourite dishes.

Try this favourite from Venetian eatery Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go in the ByWard Market

Gnocchi with spinach, pesto and sun dried tomatoes. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A new restaurant in Ottawa's ByWard Market is serving up fresh pasta flavours from Venice, and now you can, too.

Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go on ByWard Market Square is the casual Venetian restaurant chain's latest Canadian franchise. It offers freshly made pasta and sauces that are ready for takeout in just a few minutes. 

Andy Aluwala, the franchise representative in Ottawa, said the owners of Dal Moro's Canada discovered the restaurant on a trip to Venice.

"They instantly fell in love with everything: the setup, the concept, the food, the taste," Aluwala said.

The restaurant serves up a variety of sauces and pastas, and has vegetarian and vegan options, all freshly made in-house.

One of Dal Moro's specialities is their gnocchi al pesto. This week on CBC Radio's All In A Day, Aluwala shared the Dal Moro recipe to make fresh gnocchi al pesto from scratch.  

Ingredients 

Gnocchi

  • 1 kg potatoes 
  • 280 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g semolina 
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper 

Pesto

  • 50 g basil 
  • 20 g pine nuts 
  • 90 ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • 25 g Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • 5 g Pecorino Romano
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt

Preparation 

Gnocchi 

  • Fill a pot with water and heat at 350 °F (180 °C) to bring to a boil.
  • Cook potatoes in the boiling water for 90 minutes.
  • Peel potatoes while still warm, and mash them.
  • Place mashed potatoes on lightly floured surface sprinkled with salt. Let cool.
  • Sprinkle some flour on top, then add the beaten egg. 
  • Gently mix all the ingredients and knead them until smooth. Don't overwork the dough, but if you find it too sticky, add semolina.
  • Form a disc shape and divide it into six pieces.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a long 1 cm-think rope.
  • Cut each rope into 1 cm gnocchi pieces, and lightly dust with flour (or roll the gnocchi over a gnocchi board or with a fork until rounded and grooved).
  • Place them on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Pro tip: Gnocchi can be frozen at this stage and will last for up to three weeks. 

Cooking gnocchi

  • Gently drop one-third of gnocchi into a large pot of salted simmering water.
  • When gnocchi rise to the surface, simmer for 2 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Use a slotted spoon to drain the gnocchi.

Pesto 

  • Put basil leaves in food processor in small batches and mix using the pulse setting (continuous mixing creates heat, which ruins the basil).
  • Add pine nuts, both cheeses and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper (can add more to taste).
  • Peel garlic clove and remove the vein, add it to the processor.
  • Add some of the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Continue mixing on the pulse setting. 
  • Add more extra virgin olive oil (the cold prevents the basil from overheating). 
  • Keep mixing until pesto reaches the right density and taste.
  • Add to warm gnocchi.

Pro Tip: Pesto can be kept in the fridge for about three days, or can be frozen for up to three months. It's best to keep the pesto sauce in sealed jars, covered with a think layer of extra virgin olive oil. This will seal out the air and prevent the pesto from oxidizing, which would turn it a dark colour. 

D is for Pesto 12:07

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.