This dish comes together with such little effort that I always feel like I’m forgetting something when I make it. The prep is nothing more than chopping up a few vegetables, tossing everything together, and then baking for about twenty minutes. The end result is a bright and vibrant meal that’s bursting with juicy roasted veggies and soft, pillowy, pesto-coated gnocchi pieces. If you want to make this with frozen gnocchi, simply add an extra ten minutes to the cook time and you’re all set.
For the Pesto:
- 2 cups of fresh basil or greens such as kale, spinach, carrot tops or arugula
- 2 cloves of garlic (or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic)
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of pine nuts (or other nuts/seeds such as walnuts, cashews, almonds or hulled pumpkin seeds)
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt, plus more to taste
For the Gnocchi & Veggies:
- 1 (16-oz) package uncooked vegan potato gnocchi
- 1 small zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) thick pieces and cut in half
- 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon of pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup of Pesto, divided
- A small handful of fresh basil
For the Pesto:
- Add the basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, pine nuts, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
- Add a tablespoon or two of water to thin out the consistency if desired.
- Keep leftovers stored in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For the Gnocchi and Veggies:
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) casserole dish.
- Add the gnocchi, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and pine nuts to the casserole dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and add ¼ cup of the pesto. Use a spoon to mix the veggies and gnocchi well in the oil and pesto. Spread the mixture evenly across the dish.
- Place the baking dish in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting and the gnocchi exposed at the top are slightly crispy.
- Stir in the remaining ¼ cup of pesto and serve immediately, topped with fresh basil.
Tester’s Tip: Our recipe tester Taylor recommends adding 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pesto for some added brightness.
Keywords: vegan, italian, gnocchi, pasta, dinner