Gnocchi: Italian pillows of happiness

Whenever I see gnocchi on the menu at any Italian restaurant, I always order it because I never make it at home. This was my first experience making homemade gnocchi and I was surprised at how easy it was. I've had a weird obsession with purple potatoes lately, and they are just too pretty not to take advantage of, but you can use regular Russet potatoes as well. I paired it with a lemony pesto sauce because gnocchi needs to be elevated by big flavors.

The ingredients in the picture are for the gnocchi itself, as well as the pesto I made to go with it. The potatoes I had were relatively small, I poked them each with a fork and microwaved them for 10 minutes. While the potatoes were cooking, I brought the pesto together. Pesto is so easy to make - you just put all the ingredients into the food processor and it's pretty much done in 5 minutes.

Put the garlic in first, then throw in the basil and mint leaves on top. Zest the lemon and then juice it. Toast the pine nuts and add them to the processor along with the grated cheese and olive oil.

Pulse the processor until you attain desired consistency.

By now, the potatoes should be done in the microwave, take them out and carefully remove the skins (they should come right off).

Once all the potatoes are peeled, put them in a bowl and mash them - then set the bowl in the refrigerator for the potatoes to cool completely.