Spinach Gnocchi With Kale-Basil Pesto

Main Dishes | March 13, 2014 | By

Spinach Gnocchi

So many things nowadays are associated with “green.” Green energy, green cars, going green, eating green, green with envy, given the green light, a green thumb … the list goes on. Hailey and I seem to be on a green kick too, more specifically, a green kale kick. A couple weeks ago after the gym, Hailey turned to me and invited me over to try her new kale pesto recipe. Now I love pesto and love love love pesto pastas, but usually avoid eating them due to the excess in carbs and oils. (Gone are the days where happily attended carb loading parties before the big swim meet. *sigh*).

This pesto is better than any other pestos because: 1) it’s homemade (you can’t beat that) 2) kale is packed with nutrients, 3) you control how much oil you use and therefore the fat content, and 4) it’s incredibly simple to make and store!

Sometimes a sauce is so good that you want to eat it  and nothing else. Sometimes, that doesn’t cut it. With such a great sauce, we didn’t think it was fair to serve it on anything but homemade pasta. Thus, we present our spinach-potato gnocchi recipe!



Spinach Gnocchi (adapted slightly from De Standaard)

10 Potatoes, skinned

1 Clove of Garlic, minced

6 Oz Bag of Spinach

5-6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 Eggs

¼ Cup Grated Parmesan



Olive Oil


Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to just cover the potatoes. Set on a stove to boil for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Meanwhile using a hot medium-sized pan, saute the spinach with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Once finished, let cool then squeeze the residual moisture from the spinach and chop into fine pieces. Set aside. Once the potatoes are done, drain them and place them in a large bowl. Now it’s time to mash. Mash your potatoes with the spinach, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Sounds like a delicious mashed potato recipe to me…. keep reading.

Once the potatoes are  cool (this is important!), add eggs and stir vigorously. Add one cup of flour at a time until the potato mixture starts to resemble a wet dough. (*Tip: You should continue adding the flour ½ cup at a time until you can take some dough in your hands and roll it into a strand. Keep the flour handy to dust your hands every time the dough gets sticky). Taking a bit of the dough at a time, roll into into ½ inch in diameter strands and cut into 1 inch segments. Lay the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet and press down with a fork to create a design.

Kale Pesto

Kale-Basil Pesto

1 Cup Fresh Basil

1 Cup Rainbow Kale

1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan Cheese

3 Cloves Garlic, peeled


 Place all ingredients in a food processor (we used a NutriBullet) and blend until paste consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container.

Pasta Assembly:

Set a large pot half-full of water on the stove. Once boiling, place the gnocchi in the water (they will sink to the bottom). Once they rise to the water’s surface, they are done. Drain and toss with pesto and extra parmesan.

Serves 8-10.

Spinach Gnocchi 2