There's this little restaurant called Amore mio in Tel Aviv. As you probably guessed, it's all about Italian food. Nothing fancy and the food was alright by my book, but they had one dish that had me coming back every time. Unfortunately, the menu changed and it seems that particular dish didn't make it to the final... which is almost criminal if you ask me.
Just look at this...
Tender warm gnocchi, bite size fresh mozzarella, ripe cherry tomatoes and crunchy arugula, all tossed in a delicious garlicky pesto.
That was a classic.
Now, here's how it was made...
150 g of fresh basil (which is about 4 cups)
30 g of pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
25 g of Parmesan
120 ml of virgin olive oil
2 g (1/2 coffee spoon) of salt
Put everything in a blender and mix for a couple of minutes until you have fine grained pesto. Don't over do it, or the pesto will start to warm up and the this will darken it's beautiful green color.
Don't worry about leaving the stalk of the basil, they taste just fine!
1 kg of gnocchi (this is enough for 4 hungry people)
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Cook the gnocchi according to the instructions, unless you're making them from scratch, which is even better! Drain and put back in the cooking pan. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep them moist and avoid them from sticking together.
3 cups of cherry tomatoes
1 big bunch of arugula
350 g of mini fresh mozzarella balls
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and wash and chop the arugula in half or even in three sections if the stems are really long. Remove any hard or fibrous parts.
Drain the mozzarella.
Now, heat the gnocchi in the pan, gently. When they are nice and warm, pour in a large salad bowl and immediately add the cherry tomatoes, the mozzarella and the arugula. Pour half cup of pesto and toss the everything together. You might want to add more if you like.
Serve immediately in individual bowls and don't forget to have extra Parmesan and cracked pepper on the table, they are great additions to this light and simple dish.