When you’re having a long day, all you need is a soul-filling bowl of pasta. Sometimes, though, spaghetti and meatballs just doesn’t do the job, so why not try something new? This recipe will give you a dish that tastes gourmet at a fraction of the price and effort. Best of all, it’ll make you feel super satisfied without even adding any meat in it.

Winnie Lam / Daily Nexus

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
6 cups basil leaves (about 3 bunches)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 package Trader Joe’s gnocchi

1. Toast the pine nuts on a pan for five to seven minutes until fragrant and golden brown in color. Transfer the pine nuts to a food processor and let them cool.
2. Pulse pine nuts until finely grounded.
3. Wash basil leaves and pluck the leaves off the stem. Add the leaves into the food processor and pulse again.
4. Add grated Parmesan and olive oil to the food processor and pulse for approximately one minute until the mixture is mostly smooth then set aside for later.
5. Cook the gnocchi in lightly-salted boiling water for three minutes. Before draining, pour a little bit of the pasta water into a large mixing bowl. Drain completely.
6. Put the gnocchi into the mixing bowl and add a few tablespoons of pesto to the bowl. Stir until everything is thoroughly mixed and all the gnocchi is coated with the pesto sauce.

Although this simple dish is fantastic on its own, try pairing it with burrata cheese as a side. Burrata is made of fresh mozzarella cheese with a solid outer curd with soft cream inside. All you have to do is cut it halfway through and top it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of kosher salt. This is completely optional, but it’ll elevate your meal even more. So what are you waiting for? This is a perfect dinner to make when you’re craving something hearty but don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time prepping and cooking.


Winnie Lam
Winnie Lam serves as the 2020-2021 On The Menu Editor. She has an unhealthy obsession with Trader Joe's and she loves all things matcha.