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Easy enough for a weeknight meal, but impressive enough for company, this Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus is packed with flavor and done in less than 30 minutes!

Easy enough for a weeknight meal, but impressive enough for company, this Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus is packed with flavor and done in less than 30 minutes!

Originally posted March 17, 2008 – I originally posted this recipe on St. Patrick’s day as a last minute attempt at something green, and here I am again, last minute and not a green recipe in sight. This is not Irish by any means of the imagination, but green is better than nothing, right? And it definitely doesn’t hurt that it is crazy delicious. We have become gnocchi addicts in my house, and this is no exception. So St. Patrick’s day or not, this is a great spring recipe!

I was going to make a fun St. Patrick’s Day green treat to bring into work today, but that didn’t happen. Remember last month when I promised to do my Daring Baker’s challenge earlier in the month? Well, I did it yesterday, and with the creative liberties I made, it literally took me most of the day. So I was beat, and I didn’t have the energy to make anything else!!

So instead, I looked through my photos of foods patiently waiting to be posted about, and I found this green pasta dish. And why I didn’t post about it sooner is beyond me, because this was delicious!!

Until this dish, I had actually never had gnocchi before. But this will not be the last time, because my husband and I really enjoyed it. I did buy it premade, but now I’m ready to try making it from scratch one of these days. When I think of gnocchi, I think of Top Chef. Any of you Top Chef fans out there – is it just me, or have the judges criticized every single gnocchi that has been made on the show? I think this is one reason I’m a little scared to try to make it from scratch, because if these professional chefs have a hard time making it well, I will probably really struggle with it!! But then again, my husband and I are the only judges, and we are not nearly as harsh as Tom, Padma and Gail!

This is a dish that can literally come together in less than 30 minutes. And it’s versatile as well – my husband did not want shrimp, so I did chicken for him and shrimp for me. And as spring keeps getting closer and asparagus is showing itself on grocery shelves, this is a perfect springtime meal.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!!
Recipe for Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus

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Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy enough for a weeknight meal, but impressive enough for company, this Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus is packed with flavor and done in less than 30 minutes!
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package (16-oz) gnocchi
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, tails removed
  • salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the pesto:
  2. Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Season with the salt and pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Stream in the olive oil until the mixture comes together in a smooth sauce.
  3. Make the Gnocchi:
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until it floats to the top of the surface.
  5. While the gnocchi cooks, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Remove the cooked gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon to the sauté pan and cook until it is crisp on all sides, stirring and flipping the gnocchi as needed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the gnocchi to a plate.
  6. Heat another tablespoon of the oil in the same sauté pan and add the asparagus. Cook until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Remove the asparagus to the same plate as the gnocchi.
  7. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same sauté pan and add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink, 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. Combine the gnocchi, asparagus and shrimp and add the pesto sauce. Stir to combine, then serve immediately.

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Easy enough for a weeknight meal, but impressive enough for company, this Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus is packed with flavor and done in less than 30 minutes!

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32 Responses to Gnocchi with Pesto, Shrimp and Asparagus

  1. Melanie says:

    I love shrimp dishes! And I’ve been wanting to make gnocchi for a while so maybe I’ll do it with this recipe…thanks!

  2. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A great combination! Your dish looks wonderful!



  3. Bellini Valli says:

    Happy St. Paddy’s Day…this dish looks very festive:D I have yet to make my DB challenge….keep proscratinating:D

  4. Sarah says:

    I love gnocchi and that sounds like such a tasty way to eat it! I’m impressed that you are done with your DB challenge…I keep putting it off… :(

  5. Mary says:

    My husband is a big shrimp fan and I love pesto so this is one of those dishes that might work for both of us!
    Kudos on getting the DB challenge done so early. I’ll be doing mine this week. I’m sort of looking forward to it.

  6. mimi says:

    i love gnocchi! yours looks so yummy. and i’ve always wanted to make mine homemade too. we should try to do it together sometime! that way we can commiserate together :)

  7. Ann says:

    Okay, now THAT is a nice-looking St. Paddy’s Day dish. I’d so much rather see pesto and gnocchi than a green cupcake!

  8. taste memory says:

    that does look good…anything with shrimp & pasta, i am there….i can already taste the shredded cheese!

  9. Maryann says:

    This is a nice dish, Deb! You should think about bringing it to our festa italiana. I’m sure others would love it too :)

  10. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    nice, nice, nice! Perfect combo of fresh flavors. Gnocchi isn’t rocket science and while I didn’t see when they critiqued the contestant’s gnocchi, (really, Ms. P is getting a little crotchety!) I think it’s a pretty easy technique. I learned from a women who made it look as easy as…boiling water!

  11. Jenny says:

    Hi Deborah,
    I also got my DB challenge done yesterday, guess we were both trying not to procrastinate this month! Feels good to be early this time.

    This green dish looks great, I’m starving. Have a great St Patty’s day!

  12. Suzana says:

    Gnocchi! I love gnocchi and this combination sounds really yummy. I’ll have to try it soon!

  13. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I’m glad you posted this, Deb – it looks scrumptious and you make it sound so easy to put together! YUM!

  14. Steph says:

    I lOVE gnocchi! I first experienced gnocchi in Italy, and I fell in love with it! Great recipe!

  15. Cakespy says:

    This looks like a wonderful foray into the world of gnocchi! Although I have had it in the past, it wasn’t til this year that I learned how to pronounce it (at a restaurant in front of everyone, don’t wanna talk about it)…

  16. Gabi says:

    Wow you are so together- getting on that challenge ahead of time! I’m always catching up- :)
    I love your gnocchi-nice you had a green dish in reserve to share.
    Happy Saint Pat’s!
    x x x

  17. Shandy says:

    What sa great idea, buying premade gnocchi! So much easier for a dinner. . .Yum! Prefect for St. Paddy’s Day too. Kudos on your Daring Baker Challenge already being done. =D

  18. Kevin says:

    That gnocchi dish looks great! I think that the premade plain gnocchi is worth buying for the time that it saves but it is nice to make variations on it like sweet potato gnocchi or spianch and ricotta gnocchi at home. I like to fry the gnocchi in butter so that they have a crispy outside an a warm and soft inside.

  19. glamah16 says:

    Perfect spring dinner!

  20. Peabody says:

    Very festive and Spring like.

  21. KJ says:

    I’ve tried making gnocchi a few times but I’ve never really managed to get it right. I’ll keep trying though :)

  22. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Gorgeous green dish! I have tried my hand at gnocchi without much success. I will be at it again one of these days!

  23. ruthEbabes says:

    Your gnocchi looks fab!!! Love the look of the pesto too… i’ve never made pesto from scratch!

    Beautiful colours in your dish.

  24. ashley says:

    this looks really good! i finally tried making gnocchi from scratch for the first time about a month ago. i was scared too! i used the method where you bake the potatoes instead of boiling to help keep them from being too heavy. shaping them was still hard, but they were still so light and fluffy! it was totally worth it (and honestly not that hard or too time consuming)! try it! :-)

  25. Chocolate Shavings says:

    That dish looks really good – simple and delicious!

  26. Pixie says:

    Gnocchi is wonderful, I’ve yet to make it myself but it is on the list, along with a 101 other dishes I want to make.

  27. Emiline says:

    Sounds delish. I made gnocchi, like twice, and they didn’t turn out well. Maybe it was the recipe.

  28. Tracy says:

    What a yummy idea for St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t think I’ve had homemade gnocchi but I do recall the Top Chef judges being hard on contestants who attempted it. But since you’re not on the show, why not try it!

  29. kokitty says:

    Absolutely wonderful dish! I tried making it this evening, and it was divine. The gnocchi was hard to track down, but it was worth the search! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  30. I can’t wait to try this one! I have done green beans with gnocchi but this sounds delicious with shrimp too!

  31. Janet says:

    My daughter is a huge past a shrimp fan, she will just flip over this!

  32. Judith says:

    This looks delicious. I cannot wait to make it. Thanks so much for sharing.

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