How To Make Homemade Gnocchetti-Rocchetti Pasta
What is one of the easiest and classic pasta recipes to make? Pesto pasta! How about homemade Gnocchetti or rocchetti. Southern Italy uses more of the durum wheat or semolina flour without the use of eggs in their pasta dough. This is a great pasta for anyone who is allergic to eggs. The key to using the semolina flour is using warm water which hydrates the flour. Traditionally the pasta is just semolina and water. I added a little bit of 00 flour which makes the pasta, I think, a little softer and tender, than just all semolina.
This pesto sauce you use can be the traditional recipe if you using pine nuts but in this case my son is allergic to all nuts; so I’ve made pesto for him a few times using pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts and he absolutely loves it! Another win for pasta because he doesn’t like tomato sauce. We now have another alternative for school lunches instead of sandwiches everyday. He can easily take this to school and eat it cold for lunch. Not only do the kids love it, which they normally complain about anything green, pumpkin seeds are a lot cheaper on the wallet than pine nuts. I saw recently they were almost $20 a pound. Not cheap. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!
2 cups semolina
1 cup 00 flour
1-1/4 cup warm water
4 oz basil
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup of roasted pine nuts ( pumpkin seeds if nut allergy)
1 oz of parmesan cheese
1 -1/4 cup of olive oil
salt to taste
How to make gnocchetti Pasta,
In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scraper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Take the slices and roll using your hands into a rope. Cut the rope into dime size pieces that are round. Then using a pasta board take your thumb and apply a little pressure and flick them off the board. Here is a video I made to show you the technique. This is exactly what you would do if you were making gnocchi hence the name Gnocchetti.
How to make Pesto,
Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 15 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth paste. If you want a thicker pesto use less oil to make a thick paste. If you want a more runny sauce use more olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.
How to make gnocchetti pasta,
Have a pot of salted water on high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling add the gnocchetti to the water and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to float and are tender. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp of pesto to a saute pan on medium heat. Strain out the pasta and add 4-6 oz of pasta water to the pan with the pasta and pesto. Toss the pasta around a few time so the sauce coats the gnocchetti ( you could easily add cream and a little butter to make it a little richer but I didn’t here). Then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Check seasoning and then place a few spoonfuls on to a few plates. Grate with fresh parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this easy pasta dish!