Homemade Gnocchi with Pesto and Summer Squash

What do you do if your making homemade gnocchi and you do not have a potato ricer? Simple, you mash with a potato masher!

I have been wanting to make my own homemade gnocchi for quite some time  now and the smell of the fresh sweet basil in my backyard along with two potatoes and some fresh summer squash that needed to be used all left me with only one thing to do- Make Gnocchi. Yes, I realize that might not have been the first thing you thought of. Most do not associate basil and squash with gnocchi but you see in my mind I was envisioning a delicious fresh pesto sauce along with sauteed buttered squash medallions all atop of homemade gnocchi. Makes sense now right?

If you have never made homemade pasta before please do not back away from this computer screen in dismay. Making gnocchi does not require all the fancy pasta dough equipment nor time that you hear about in magazines and other food blogs. Gnocchi is simple and actually fun. All you have to do is pretend your making mashed potatoes then add in some flour and egg. Roll it out into little strips and start snipping away! Couldn’t be easier. I even made mine a whole 2 hours ahead of time and left them in the refrigerator until it was time to boil. Such a great elegant way to present pasta.

I saw a post on making pesto the way an Italian granmother would make it and let me tell you! I am no Italian grandmother!  All the power to them because according to the directions you had to sit there and smash and chop and mince and chop the basil and garlic together then add in the pine nuts (do we all know how had it is to chop pine nuts-exactly) and then repeat the steps over and over until you have a nice little pile of basil soap so to speak. It is crazy!  I am positive it would have been the best pesto I have ever had but seriously who has that kind of time? Especially when you have a trusty old food processor lying around- can I get an Amen? I know the Italian grandmothers might not approve but this pesto recipe is just simply amazing and simple and so easy to make- just hit the pulse button!


Gnocchi with Pesto and Summer Squash

Pesto Sauce: Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, slowly drizzling in the olive oil.

1 large bunch of basil leaves

4 garlic cloves

3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

juice of 1 lemon

Devo olive oil

For the Gnocchi: (adapted from Italian Dish)

2 medium sized russet potatoes, cleaned

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cup of AP flour

1 large squash, sliced into medallions


Bake potatoes in oven until tender. Let cool just until you can skin them, right before you make the gnocchi. The potato needs to be warm, or else the gnocchi will not turn out right – the flour and potato will not bind with the egg.

Scoop out potato flesh and put through ricer into a bowl. Add slightly beaten egg yolks. incorporate about 1.5 cups of the flour and mix until a dough is formed. Place on counter. Using some of the rest of the flour, knead lightly until you have a nice dough formed, one that is not too sticky but yet is not super firm.  If you feel you have obtained the right texture for the dough, do not continue to use all the flour.

Cut the dough into three sections with a pastry scraper. Roll out the sections into cords and then, with the pastry scraper, cut the cords into one inch little gnocchi. Set gnocchi on a lightly floured towel until ready to use. Bring a large pot of salt water to a rolling boil and place the gnocchi in batches in the water. Boil until the gnocchi floats to the top then wait another minute before you scoop them out. Meanwhile, saute the squash in the olive oil and butter for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper then add in 3 TBSP of the pesto. Saute for another 3-5 minutes and toss in the gnocchi and 5-6 TBSP of pesto- You can do more or less here depending on your pesto flavor preference.



  1. Erica

    Gnocchi is totally time consuming but oh so worth it! I actually took a cooking class where I learned how to make it. I have been wanting to make pumpkin gnocchi since then. The pesto sauce looks incredible

  2. Bonnie

    The finished dish looks delicious. I’ve never done gnocchi but now am tempted.


  3. Amy

    I LOVE Gnocchi. I fear to make it homemade. You made it look so simple! Maybe one of these days. This dish looks great!



  4. Elsa

    I love homemade gnocchi. I am always looking for different sauces to put on it though. This looks delicious.

  5. Three-Cookies

    What a coincidence, thats what I had for lunch yesterday:) And I don’t have a potato ricer, I have a masher but I used a fork instead.

    1. kbelleicious

      A fork, i could have used that too! Amazing what you can do with the tools you have on hand

  6. Candace

    Amen! An Italian grandmother I am not! I don’t even have a big girl food processor…just a tiny one…but it works on my pesto. I just have to make small batches of it at a time. I have never had gnocchi but that needs to change. My husband is going to go nuts if I present him his two favorite things….pasta and potatoes….all rolled into one. Your presentation here makes me think that even I could tackle something like that. Thank you! It looks absolutely delicious!

  7. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh I think I could knock out a whole plate of this right now!! Looks awesome!!

  8. Kelli

    This looks like a perfect comfort food gone good right here! I have never made GNocchi only seen it on Food Network so thanks for giving me the courage and know how!

    1. kbelleicious

      Kelli, i know you can do it- you are awesome in the kitchen

  9. Stacy

    I must admit, I hadn’t looked at your blog in a while but damn woman, you’ve gotten muy professionale! Lovely pictures!

  10. Greg

    This is just beautiful. I love that it’s fresh and light, so perfect for summer. Can’t wait for my squash to come in.

  11. Cooking Creation

    Adding squash to this dish is a delicious idea!! This looks fabulous! I have never made gnocchi before but have been wanting to try my great great aunt’s recipe.

  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    Amen! Looks like a perfect summer meal.

  13. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    Gnocchi is like one of my favorite things in the world! I could eat it everyday! Yours looks so goody and pillowy and your pesto looks great!

  14. Marina @ Yummy Mummy

    Oh this is exactly the kind of meal I make regularly. I’ve been meaning to make homemade gnocchi for ages. Thanks for the reminder/inspiration!

  15. lena

    oh, i recently made my own pesto and i must say that it’s so easy with the food processor around although grinding it with a mortar and pestle would probably deliver better texture and flavour but still fine with me. Gnocchi looks so cute, i have not seen nor eaten them before, thanks for sharing !

    1. kbelleicious

      Oh if you have never had gnocchi then you must try this. It is so light and fluffy pasta. Delicious with a light sauce or even a heavier tomato based sauce

  16. daphne

    oh u made it sound so easy! If i have to have carbs, I would much rather have this than anything else! Perfect dinner!

  17. Phyllis

    This looks wonderful! Our summer squash is just coming in – what a delightful new way to use it!

  18. Blond Duck

    It sounds so good! You make it look so easy–mine would look demented!

  19. whitney

    it’s so good to hear that it doesn’t need to be difficult!! i always watch giada and think she’s a sorceress… well, i think that about you, too, but this looks doable! haha, love it.

  20. Alli

    I will give you an AMEN! I am in amazement over your beautiful gnocchi. I can’t believe you were also going to tackle grandma style pesto. Looks delicious as always.

  21. Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen

    GREAT job with the homemade gnocchi! I’ve been wanting to try making it, but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. They look fabulous!

  22. Kathleen

    This looks simply ah-mazing!

  23. Lindsay

    This recipe could not have come at a better time. We have summer squash just sittin’ here waiting for me to cook it, but I have not been inspired. I wanted to try something new with it and this looks great! Who doesn’t love gnocchi?!?! I may cheat with the pesto, but I am going to try the gnocchi. Thanks!

  24. Glitterista

    Wow, this looks amazing! Love the addition of summer squash–I never would’ve thought of that, but it sounds like a great pairing. 🙂

  25. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    This looks so perfect, Belle! So healthy & yummy at the same time!

  26. JamieAnne

    This looks wonderful. I’ve never considered making my own, now I will.

  27. kankana

    Whenever I see the word Gnocchi it takes me few years back when I pronounced it in such a weird manner that not only did my husband (who was my BF then) LOL but also the waiter! I absolutely love the taste of Gnocchi with pesto sauce and this is something I definitely want to try at home

  28. The Slow Roasted Italian

    This looks delicious. I am all for the food processor too. My grandmother did everything the hard way because she had to, I am sure if she had a food processor she would have used it instead.

    BTW, I see the Giada De Laurentis pot there. I was thinking about purchasing a few of her pieces, what do you think???

    1. kbelleicious

      I love her pots! I have just a few but would love to have more. They are actually very heavy and wash easy and just pretty to look at. I would get the saucepan and grill pan to start. those are my favorite

  29. TexasMom

    Simply WoW! So impressed really- it looks divine. the gnocchi, the pesto, the squash! Just divine

  30. Veronica's Kitchen

    I haven’t made gnocchi before as well. I have been thinking of it last weekend and maybe I should make some this weekend. I like the pine nut and basil, simple but delicious!

  31. Shea

    Oh goodness, I LOVE gnocchi! I’ve never made it–it’s always intimidated me a little, I don’t know why. But I’ve got to try it, and I know your recipe will be outstanding. Plus, I’ve got a ton of basil I need to use–perfect excuse! YUM!

  32. The Undercover Cook

    Love homemade pesto! I mix it up and use other nuts sometimes. I have not tried homemade gnocchi yet, but it sound tasty and simple.

  33. Maureen

    I love this. It’s a labor of love but oh so worth it!

  34. SharleneT.

    I think the Italian grandmothers would have been delighted to have a food processor. Just as quilters today use machines instead of handsewing everything. Many recipes are handed down and the original process is a part of that, but it’s up to the current cooks to bring it up to date. This looks scrumptuous and I have all the ingredients. Guess what I’m going to be doing tomorrow!

  35. The Harried Cook

    I just made gnocchi last week, and have to just write a post to go with the pictures! What a cool coincidence! Can’t have too much gnocchi, right? My favorite way to eat gnocchi is with pesto too! Yum… Thanks for sharing your recipe! 🙂

  36. Melynda@Moms Sunday Cafe

    Now that I am home I can take a moment to tell you how delicious this looks. I appreciate the tips to make the gnocchi successful. Thanks. PS love the pairing with the summer squash.

  37. Natasha @ 5 Minutes Just for Me

    That looks so yummy! Healthy too. Thanks for this delicious recipe.

    Best wishes,

  38. Maris (In Good Taste)

    This looks wonderful! I love gnocchi and it is right up there on my things I would love to make list!

  39. Alexis @ There She Goes

    homemade gnocchi with pesto? you just made my boyfriends dream meal 🙂

  40. Linda

    I bet your husband is glad you’re not an old Italian grandmother either!! I’ve made gnocchi many times and these look gorgeous and have made me really crave a big bowl!! I love that you added the squash, a perfect combination!

  41. Kristy

    Now you have me craving gnocchi! Yum! Yum! Yum! This is hands down one of our favorites. We (actually hubby) makes this at least a few times in the winter. He makes it the same way you describe above…mash, mash, mash. Oh and the flour! (I usually have to hide the kitchen rugs when he makes this dish. LOL) We haven’t had it with a pesto sauce…I may have to give this a try. It will give me an excuse to have him make gnocchi in the summer. 🙂

  42. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Oh boy, what a magical meal – what my hubby and I would call a ‘taste-explosion” meal.
    🙂 Mandy

  43. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    I am seriously impressed, friend! I have not tested myself to try and make any sort of pasta…you have inspired me! This dish looks absolutely fantastic!

  44. Jessica

    YUM! These look fantastic & would be amazing with my Cajun pesto http://cajunlicious.com/2011/07/cajun-pesto.html Thanks for sharing Jess!

  45. Mary

    This is just about perfect – BRILLIANT recipe – I’m making this tonight!!!
    Mary x

  46. dadá flavors

    I love pesto. These Gnocchi looks delicious!

  47. 2 sisters recipes... Anna and Liz Recipes

    We love pesto and gnocchi ! This looks delicious and a nice combo with the summer squash. I have made gnocchi before and with a variety of sauces but the summer squash sounds like a very nice touch…great idea! I will have to make this one soon! Thanks again! 🙂 Anna

  48. ASHLEA

    You gnocchi looks really great! I’ve had a lot of fun making fresh pastas this summer and this looks like such a great recipe!

  49. Rachel

    MMM! I am a pesto freak – and this looks like it would be perfect for lots of versatile summer veggie dishes! Thanks for making it not so intimidating!

  50. Blond Duck

    Thanks so much for the sweet words on my book!

  51. thatssoron

    Definately a great one, I was so suprise on how easy making gnoki was, we have since stop buy any

  52. Allison @ Alli n Son

    I think that I can actually smell this through my phone. I love homemade pesto and the pasta sounds easy enough that I could make it, even with a newborn on my hip. 🙂

  53. Joanne

    These are the CUTEST gnocchi pillows! I love that you smothered them in from-the-garden pesto. Gorgeous!

  54. nancy at good food matters

    Your gnocchi look like sumptuous little pillows. What a marvelous summer dish–and a great way to use all my garden yellow squash.

  55. Vivian

    Gnocchi and pesto and squash- yummy. Get in my tummy

  56. Sarah G.

    Love this gnocchi and love you did it yourself.of course you would though:) the pesto and squash add a nice addition

  57. Kyle

    Pesto and Gnocchi, whats not to love. It’s summer in a bowl.

  58. Caroline

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade gnocchi for a while too, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve made homemade ravioli, linguini, spaghetti, etc., but not gnocchi! I’m a huge pesto fan, so this pasta is right up my alley. 🙂

  59. Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers

    This looks really great. I hope I get the nerve to try it soon!

  60. yummychunklet

    I’m so jealous of your homemade gnocchi! I just can’t get the hang of it. Yours looks so tasty!

  61. Carey

    I have all of these ingredients right this minute and a ton of squash that needs to be cooked….as soon as VBS is over this is on the menu! I’ve been wanting to try gnochi for a while and now you’ve given me the courage 🙂
    LOVE U! & miss yall!
    Cannot wait til next week…eeek! So excited!!!

  62. Roz

    I had gnocchi and pesto on my mind last night and your recipe inspired me. Hopefully I’ll get to it this weekend, because I’m craving this badly!!!! Lovely photos!

  63. The Food Hunter

    I love making homemade gnocchi…I just need to do it more.

  64. Melynda@Moms Sunday Cafe

    This dish screams summer, I can’t wait to make it. And thanks for the tips on the gnocchi. I am so glad you shared this with the Hearth n Soul hop!

  65. Macy

    I love homemade gnocchi. The pesto looks amazing and your gnocchi looks perfect

  66. Torrie @ a place to share...

    Ahhhhh. It feels good to be here… to finally get caught up on your posts.

    HELLO my beautiful friend!! I’ve missed you!

    This sounds amazing and perfect for summer. (gnocchi freezes really well too! we’ve made extra intentionally to freeze it… such a treat for later :).)

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