My spinach gnocchi with vegan roquette pesto

Sandra Slawinski 22nd April 2020 0 comments

How are you all doing? I am feeling very inspired some days and very uninspired the next days when it comes to cooking 3 meals a day. In a way I am lucky to live alone and don’t ve to feed the masses but on the other hand, I am my worst own critic. Having my vegetables and meat deliveries be a surprise, does get my brain thinking and my stomach grumbling but once in a while I order in to give me a break.

I share my vegetarian and vegan inspo from the veggie box from Humus X Hortense restaurant farmer Monde des mile couleurs. I used the longstem spinach leaves and potatoes for the gnocchi and spring purslane ( the lovely green flower/leave) and some of roquette for the pesto. I thought the roquette would go lovely with pine nuts and sunflower seeds ( what I had in the cupboard) as they both have a nutty flavour. I used some good quality olive oil, but for me no garlic as I don’t digest it well.


GNOCCHI – This Ancient Romain Empire favourite Italian dumpling had many authentic recipes in different regions of the empire. Original ingredients were semolina flour, eggs, cheese,  and breadcrumbs. Potatoes were added in 16th century to the dough dumpling, and mostly served in the North of Italy. It is a low key, low cost alternative to pasta and one of my favourite comfort foods.



PESTO – this sauce originates from Genoa in Italy, traditionally made with crushed garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, coarse salt and parmesan or pecorino cheese blended with olive oil. The name comes from the preparation of the ingredients being crushed in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle in circular motions.



STEP 1: Boil potatoes in salted water and sauté the spinach in olive oil. Mash together and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

STEP 2: mix an egg into the mash and dust the surface with flour.

(for vegan version omit the egg and add some rice milk)

STEP 3: Take about the size of an egg some mash in your hand and roll it into the flour into a long sausage. Cut chunks about 2 cm long. and shape them with the back of a fork into that familiar gnocchi ribbed oval shape. Bring salted water to the boil and carefully ladle in 6 gnocchis at time, boil for a few minutes, when they float they are done. Remove and drain carefully.

STEP 4: Toast the pine nuts and sunflower seeds in a dry pan till golden. In a foodprocessor blitz the roquette, nuts, and olive oil. If you want add garlic for that deep flavour and grated parmesan cheese for authenticity. I had no cheese in the house so I kept it vegan.




  • For vegan gnocchi, omit the egg and add a little splash of rice milk.
  • Shave some parmesan cheese over the gnocchi for the traditional Italian touch.
  • A piece of steamed white fish like cod or grilled salmon would go lovely with it.


What a pretty plate of food this is, and soo full of flavour of that fresh spring produce.

My spinach gnocchi with vegan pesto

Yield 4 portions


for the gnocchi:

  • 3 - 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in equal size chunks
  • 200 gr strong flour (if you ve, semolina or  00' pasta flour )
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, washed
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg

for the pesto:

  • 1 bustle of roquette salad
  • 120 gr of nuts ( pine nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews)
  • olive oil
  • optional garlic and parmesan or pecorino cheese 


  1. Boil in salad water the potatoes and sauté the spinach in some olive oil. Mash the potatoes and spinach add an egg and season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg ( this is my personal touch). 
  2. Dust the surface and your hands with flour , take some mash mixture in your hands ( about egg size) and gently roll into a ball, flatting and than onto the surface into a sausage.
  3. Blitz the roquette, nuts and olive oil in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar to go traditional. season with salt and pepper.
  4. Boil salted water and level carefully 6 gnocchi at the time, let boil for 2 minutes and once they float remove and drain them.
  5. Serve the gnocchi with the vegan pesto and edible leaves and flowers.


on by Sandra Slawinski

Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial deals. I used my plate from Dille&Kamille, my fork from ZaraHome, my  faithful Magimix Le Micro.