Quick Weekday Gnocchi!

After writing my Super Speedy 10 Minute Pesto recipe, I decided to have a play around with different weekday family dinner options which included the pesto. It’s definitely not just for pasta! My kids love it, so we do tend to eat it once every couple of weeks and there are so many ways you can use it. This easy salmon recipe would be a great way to use up a jar of homemade pesto in your fridge. Equally, it’s amazing in pitta bread with melted mozzarella and ham.

The following recipe, I made one day using some random items often found in my fridge and in less than 30 minutes, after running around for various after school activities. It combines gnocchi, diced halloumi, chickpeas, my homemade pesto (which I also added some chopped spinach to as a slight variation) and a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes. If you don’t have halloumi, of course, mozzarella would be ideal (and rather more Italian!) I'm sure any Italians reading this - my half-Sicilian husband's family included will be distinctly unimpressed with my gnocchi recipe here, so apologies in advance. You could also switch the chickpeas for cannellini or borlotti beans (again way more authentic but not in my cupboard that day!) Veg – swap the tomatoes for asparagus, french beans or peas. So many variations to this super easy dish.

 

Ingredients

Two bags of shop-bought gnocchi.
Jar of homemade pesto (add as much or as little as you like)
Spinach leaves (optional)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
400g tin chickpeas
A handful of cherry tomatoes
1 pack halloumi diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh basil leaves
50ml vegetable stock

 

 

Method

Step 1

Heat oven to 180C (fan). Fry the diced halloumi and whole cherry tomatoes in olive oil until the cheese starts to brown and the tomatoes soften.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes or according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.

Step 3

In a large ovenproof dish, gently mix together the cooked gnocchi, fried tomatoes and halloumi, pesto, chickpeas and pesto carefully ensuring the gnocchi stays in shape and everything is coated evenly. If the dish is dry, stir in the veg stock. This is optional depending on the consistency of your pesto. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Serve in a large pasta bowl garnished with fresh basil. If you like your dishes with a little more flavour, a scattering of chilli flakes would also work well here.

 

 

How To Adapt For Babies

Halloumi is high in salt so not ideal for young children and babies. I would suggest omitting this from the dish and simply adding some grated cheddar on top at the end. For very small babies, chickpeas may present as a choking hazard, so a softer option such as cannellini or borlotti beans would be preferable here. Alternatively, you could whizz the chickpeas in a blender before adding them to the other ingredients. Finally, just a reminder to ensure all nuts in the pesto are crushed well before serving to a child under 5 years.

 

Enjoy x