Parisian Herbed Gnocchi with Fresh Pea Pesto (video)

Chef Aaron Woo of Natural Selection in Portland, Oregon, shows us how to make a Parisian herbed gnocchi served over a bed of English peas and basil pesto. Both recipes from the video are listed below.

Parisian Herbed Gnocchi Recipe

recipe courtesy of  Aaron Woo

Serves 6


  • 3/4c water
  • 4oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2t kosher salt
  • 1c sifted A/P flour
  • 2t kosher salt
  • 1t fine lemon zest
  • 1T dijon mustard
  • 1t chopped parley
  • 1t chopped tarragon
  • 1t chopped chervil
  • 1t chopped chives
  • 1t chopped fennel frond
  • 1/3c grated parmesan cheese
  • 3ea large eggs
  • Instructions:

    For The Gnocchi Dough:

    1. In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine water, butter, 1/2t salt and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
    2. Reduce heat to medium, add flour all at once and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pot and the bottom of the pot is very clean. The dough will become smooth and glossy, but still remain moist and intact, but not wet. Once the dough reaches this state, stir for 3-4 more minutes.
    3. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add 2t salt, lemon zest, and dijon mustard, mix on medium for 3-4 minutes releasing some of the steam. Add all of the chopped herbs, blend well on medium speed, 1 minute. Add the grated parmesan cheese, turn mixer to low, mix 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, allowing the egg to completely incorporate before adding the next egg. You can increase the speed to medium between each egg. The dough should be smooth, soft, and supple.
    4. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a 1/2” plain tip, allow to cool to room temperature.
    5. To Par Cook the Gnocchi:

    6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap, and oil it liberally.
    7. When the water is boiling, and the gnocchi dough is room temperature, begin poaching the dough. Reduce the pot of water to a simmer. Over the pot of simmering water, squeeze the pastry bag of dough with one hand, while cutting the dough as it comes out into 1” lengths with a pair of scissors. Do this in small batches to begin with, increasing the size of each batch as you get better at it. The gnocchi will sink to the bottom of the pot, then float to the surface. Once they float, allow to poach for another 1-2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi to the well-oiled baking sheet, coating the gnocchi well with the oil so they do not stick together.
    8. Cool the poached gnocchi in the refrigerator in a single layer, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use.
    9. To Finish Cooking the Gnocchi:

    10. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat until hot. Add some olive oil, coat the entire bottom of the pan, add the gnocchi and saute for 2 minutes. Add some butter, and continue to saute until the butter begins to brown and the gnocchi become a golden brown.
    11. Finish as desired.

    English Pea and Basil Pesto Recipe

    Serves 6

    • 2T roasted garlic
    • 1T fine lemon zest
    • 1c basil leaves
    • 3/4c parsley leaves
    • 2c cooked english peas or thawed frozen peas
    • 1c olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1t sea salt
    • 3/4t black pepper


    1. Blanch the parsley and basil in salted boiling water for 30 seconds.
      Remove from boiling water and shock in salted ice water until chilled.
    2. Remove from ice water, squeeze out all water, coarsely chop.

    3. In a blender, put garlic, lemon zest, chopped basil leaves, chopped
      parsley leaves, salt, pepper, and peas. Puree on medium low until
    4. the mixture begins to spin/blend smoother, then slowly add the oil.

    5. Adjust seasoning and desired thickness of the pesto/puree.
    6. Set aside at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
      If the pesto/puree is not going to be used immediately, pour a thin layer of oil over the surface of the pesto/puree or layer of plastic film.

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