Gnocchi in a Roasted Veggie Sauce With Lemon Walnut Pesto and Burrata

Spencer Lengsfield
by Spencer Lengsfield
4 Portions
2 hr

I attempted some homemade gnocchi here, but store-bought will be absolutely fine. I served the gnocchi with a roasted tomato, garlic, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, and artichoke sauce, along with torn burrata, and a lemon and walnut pesto - perfect for meat free monday! Although the whole meal is delicious, the lemon and walnut pesto is the star of the show. It still holds the characteristic pesto flavours, but the lemon cuts through the creamy parmesan and garlic, and the toasted walnuts give an additional crunch sometimes lost with pine nuts. Definitely one to try, it’s great for pasta, salads, or with roasted vegetables.

Lemon and walnut pesto, garnished with more walnuts, lemon zest, and basil flowers

Balsamic roasted vegetables and jammy roasted garlic

Gnocchi in a Roasted Veggie Sauce With Lemon Walnut Pesto and Burrata
Recipe details
  • 4  Portions
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 2 hr
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For the pesto
  • 50g Basil leaves, torn
  • 1 Lemon, zest and juice
  • 40g Walnuts
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
For the gnocchi
  • 500g Gnocchi
  • 1 Large eggplant
  • 1 Large zucchini
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 1 tin artichoke hearts
  • 250g Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Large red onion
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Head of garlic
  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of red wine
  • 30g Unsalted butter
To serve
  • 150g Burrata
  • Lemon wedges
  • Crusty bread
For the pesto
Start by making your pesto. You can do this up to two days ahead of time, as this not only gives the flavours a chance to mingle, but means it's less stress later. Lightly toast your walnuts in a non-stick pan with a tiny splash of oil, then set aside onto a plate lined with paper towels. Using a mortar and pestle, smash your garlic cloves and lemon zest with a pinch of salt until it becomes a paste.
Roughly tear your basil leaves. It's important to tear them rather than chop as basil is sensitive, so chopping the leaves releases the oils onto the chopping board, and we want the oils in our pesto! Add your basil in batches.
When all your basil has been added, roughly chop your toasted walnuts, then add to your basil. Smash these too, then add your grated parmesan. Add as much as you like, I only added a little bit as I like my pesto less creamy, so this bit is up to you. It should be fairly thick by now.
Add your lemon juice and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. You may not need all the olive oil, so add it gradually. Garnish with any leftover walnuts and some lemon zest.
For the sauce
Next, move on to your vegetables. Preheat your oven to 390 F, and line two baking sheets with foil or greaseproof paper.
Start with your eggplant - cut this into thick slices, salt, and leave to sit for at least 20 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Meanwhile, dice your zucchini and peppers. Cut your red onion into large chunks, reserving a quarter for later, and half your artichoke hearts. Cut the top off your garlic head. Leave the tomatoes whole.
After 20-30 minutes, dice your eggplant slices, then arrange on the baking sheet with the rest of your veggies. Don't add the tomatoes yet, they'll go in later. Drizzle everything with a little bit of olive oil, 1 tbsp ish of your balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. You can also add fresh herbs here, like rosemary or thyme. Wrap the garlic in foil, with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Add everything to the oven for 40 minutes, adding the tomatoes after 15 minutes. After 40 minutes everything should be soft and golden. You may have to return the garlic to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until it's golden and jammy. Allow the veggies to cool.
Squeeze out the garlic, and lightly squash with a knife to turn into a paste. Dice your remaining onion, then add to a large pan with your garlic paste, a glug of oil and a large knob of butter. Add your tomato paste, and cook until the onions begin to soften. Add a splash of red wine, your tin of chopped tomatoes, then fill up the tin water and add that too. Leave to simmer and thicken on a medium/low heat.
Meanwhile, take half of your veggies, except for the eggplant, and add to a blender. Blend to a thick paste, then add to your sauce, along with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir through the rest of the veggies whole (the eggplant doesn't blend well because of it's skin). Taste, and season with salt, pepper, and chilli flakes.
Cook your gnocchi in a pan of salted boiling water, they'll be ready when they float to the top, then add to your sauce along with a splash of pasta water, and stir to combine.
Tear your burrata and arrange over the gnocchi. Drizzle over your pesto, then finish with any leftover walnuts and some lemon zest.
Spencer Lengsfield
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