Clam and pesto gnocchi recipe


Parisian gnocchi, which are made from choux pastry, are quite different from the more popular Mediterranean potato gnocchi, but they’re just as versatile and even easier to make.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 lb 10 oz (750 g) Choux Pastry, rested for at least 1 hour in the fridge
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2¾ oz (80 g) thyme (about ½ bunch), leaves picked
  • 7 fl oz (200 ml) whipping cream (35% fat)
  • 14 fl oz (400 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 lb 12 oz (1.25 kg) clams (vongole), soaked in cold water for 1 hour to disgorge any sand
  • 1½ oz (40 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 4¼ oz (120 g) basil (1 large bunch), leaves picked
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1¾ oz (50 g) parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 oz (30 g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 7 fl oz (200 ml) extra virgin olive oil, refrigerated until cold
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make It
  1. To make the pesto, put the basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and half of the olive oil in a food processor and process for 30 seconds, before drizzling in the remaining oil. Process just until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl, cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the temperature to low–medium to maintain a gentle simmer. Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ in) plain nozzle. Place the filled piping bag in one hand and a small paring knife in the other and, working in batches, pipe the mixture into the simmering water, cutting close to the nozzle every 3 cm (1¼ in) to make small gnocchi. As soon as the gnocchi rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and place in a bowl. Drizzle the gnocchi with a little olive oil. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are dark golden. Add the cream and wine and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the clams, cover and cook for another 5 minutes, or until all the shells have opened. Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
  4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in another large frying pan over high heat. When it begins smoking, add the cold gnocchi and cook, tossing the pan continuously, until the gnocchi are golden. Add the clams and cream sauce, reduce the heat to medium, then add the lemon juice and season to taste. Shake the pan with both hands until everything is well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes with the lid on. Divide the gnocchi and clams among serving plates and add a few tablespoons of pesto randomly over the top. Serve hot with a green salad and a glass of rosé.

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