The mushrooms are baaa-aaack!
With walnut pesto.
If you haven’t noticed 😁 I’m stuck in the most delicious possible mushroom-carb-rut these days. Remember the pasta with mushrooms and walnut pesto? That was just, like, a week ago. And then I go and make this? Hello, broken record.
To defend myself, things *are* a tiny bit different this time, because the mushrooms are being served with GNOCCHI (just pretend like you know how to say it – confidence is key), and there’s arugula up in the mix, and the walnut pesto is basil-less. Does that make it not a pesto? These rules were made to be broken.
Now watch and dream of mushrooms. ♡
Okay, here’s the deal about the gnocchi. You say it like nya-key, unless you’re me and then you call it nyoh-key because you’re a nerd who can’t even.
Gnocchi makes you become an awesome cook in three minutes flat because that’s how fast it cooks. I mean, you can definitely make it from scratch, but I never have – I just like to let DeLallo do all the work so I can have dinner NOW NOW NOW. I’m going to address the elephant in the room and say that packaged gnocchi can seem a little weird. Potato dumplings? in a package?
Which is why it’s important to buy gnocchi from a trusted brand that doesn’t take shortcuts by adding extra flour or water or other weird things to their gnocchi. DeLallo’s little pillows of goodness have legit potato puree making up 80% of the product and as a company they maintain high integrity to the quality of their ingredients. Winning, DeLallo. Very much winning.
There are few varieties that we tried in a number of recipes – because once you start, good luck stopping.
We tried the Whole Wheat Gnocchi – which I liked in theory, but it had a brown color that just didn’t do it visually in this recipe for me. We tried the Mini Potato Gnocchi – LOVED these little guys in a crockpot creamy chicken gnocchi soup that I made – maybe because it there is nothing better than soup on the first chilly day in September. I might need to do another gnocchi post to get that recipe out into the world. It was really good and Bjork was ob-sessed.
But eventually, for this post, I landed on the traditional Potato Gnocchi because of it’s size, it’s color, and it’s all around pillowy deliciousness.
Now I’m going to show you a picture of the Mini Potato Gnocchi because, honestly, we ate all the rest of them.
I made this mushroom gnocchi twice – once with the same green walnut pesto from the other mushroom recipe, but surprise! the pesto made the gnocchi and the mushrooms GREEN.
And, just, it wasn’t awesome-looking, but it tasted great. If you like green food, go with the green pesto.
That being said, with the way this recipe is written, you’ll get a non-green pesto, and as much as I love green sauces, I’ll admit that it is kind of nice to have just a plain brown sauce because it just looks a little bit less like swampy food.
Plus you can add beautiful pops of green with fresh basil ribbons, parsley, and a couple of big handfuls of organic arugula. Like how I snuck organic in there? I picked up a bag of *organic* arugula at Whole Foods in downtown Minneapolis last week when I took myself on a field trip there. Is that fitspo? These are my true life confessions.
Roasty mushrooms + golden brown gnocchi + spicy arugula + earthy walnut pesto – gang’s all calling, my friends!
Commmmme to meeeee.
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 16 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
- 24 ounces DeLallo Traditional Gnocchi (1½ packages)
- 3-4 cups arugula (optional)
- fresh parsley, basil, or other herbs to taste
- Toast the walnuts in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat, shaking or stirring to make sure they don't burn. Pulse the walnuts, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until a textured paste forms. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top of the water. Drain and set aside.
- While the gnocchi is cooking, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the gnocchi to the mushrooms in the pan. Over medium high heat, stir in about half of the walnut mixture. Things will get a little sticky because of the Parmesan, but if you keep browning it, you will end up with gnocchi pieces that have that perfectly golden brown textured exterior (and mushrooms, too). Add the herbs and toss gently to combine.
- If desired, toss with arugula (it will wilt, which I was fine with, but if you want it to stay crispier, let the whole thing cool down a little bit first). With the remaining pesto, add a little more water and salt and pulse to form a sauce if you want (see video). Drizzle over each serving.
If you DO end up adding water or oil to your leftover walnut pesto to make something of a sauce, be sure to season it generously with salt and pepper, and be aware that because it's a nut-based sauce, it will be very thick and heavy. As leftovers sit around, it will get even thicker.
A lighter "sauce" option would just be an additional drizzle of olive oil with some good sea salt.
This is a really flexible recipe so go nutso with it to make it to your gnocchi liking!
Big thanks to DeLallo for sponsoring this post and for making delicious, high quality products that we can love.