Pestoed Veggies and Gnocchi

I recently returned from a trip to the birthplace of pesto, Liguria, Italy. We ate pesto in some form or another nearly every day for 2 weeks! Needless to say, I became a bit obsessed. In that region of Italy people eat pesto on different kinds of pasta, on top of toast and even in lasagna. The Ligurians love pesto so much that they even invented an elongated potato-flour pasta (trofie) that is designed to soak up the maximum amount of sauce per bite. Unfortunately fresh trofie is very hard to find outside of Italy, but luckily we do have access to trofie’s chubby cousin: gnocchi. Gnocchi is made from the same dough as trofie so it is often used as a replacement. The potato flour is great at soaking up the basil-ly goodness. In this recipe I have added a ton of vegetables to make it a meal you can feel good about. I don’t know how the Italians would react to adding so many vegetables to a traditionally simple pasta dish, but I love it and I think you will too!

Notes: You should chop all the veggies into bite-sized pieces before you start cooking. If making this dish vegan, make sure to buy vegan gnocchi and use vegan pesto, or see my recipe for vegan pesto (link at the bottom). If making this for a gout diet: leave out the broccoli, asparagus and replace the spinach with kale.

Makes: 2 servings

Preparation time: 10m
Cooking time: 10m
Total time: 25m


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (sliced or crushed)
  • 1 zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
  • 10 green beans (chopped into 2" long pieces)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper (remove the stem and seeds, and chop into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup gnocchi (if making this vegan, buy vegan gnocchi)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup pesto (see my recipe for vegan pesto - link at the bottom)

Equipment: small saucepan, large skillet with lid, large bowl


  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Then simmer the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. Try to time it so that the gnocchi is finished cooking at about the same time as the vegetables. Fresh gnocchi usually cooks in about a minute which would mean you shouldn't put the gnocchi in the water until you uncover the veggies in step 5.
  2. Meanwhile pour the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high.
  3. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes until it starts to crisp up, but not burn.
  4. Add the chopped zucchini, carrot, broccoli, green beans, asparagus and bell pepper. Cover the veggies and sweat them for about 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover the veggies and check the tenderness. They should be “al dente”, or cooked all the way through but still have some resistance when you bite into them. If they are still a bit too firm cook for a few minutes uncovered, just make sure not to over cook the veggies. You don’t want them soft.
  6. Place 2 cups of spinach in a large bowl, then add the cooked gnocchi, the cooked veggies and top with pesto. (click here for my INLINE-LINK-START title="Vegan Pesto" href="../../../recipes/vegan-pesto">Vegan Pesto INLINE-LINK-END recipe)
  7. Toss together and serve in a large bowl.