Baked Gnocchi with Pesto Parmesan Bechamel

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Pillowy gnocchi in a cheesy pesto sauce comes together in no time. Make extra pesto and freeze it so you always have it on hand.


Table of Contents


  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 60g plain flour
  • 600ml milk600g
  • store-bought gnocchi, cooked to packet instructions, refreshed
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, plus extra to serve
  • 70g finely grated parmesan
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 small bunch of cavolo nero (about 220g), blanched then refreshed, excess water squeezed out
  • 70g finely grated Comté or cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the bechamel, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and softened. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes to cook out flour. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until smooth (change to a whisk if any lumps start to form). Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. Arrange cooked gnocchi in a 1.6L baking dish. Place pine nuts, parmesan, basil, parsley, 2 cups spinach, and cavolo nero in a blender. Pour bechamel into the blender and whiz until smooth and the bechamel is flecked with chopped greens. Season to taste. Scatter the remaining spinach over gnocchi and pour bechamel on top. Scatter over Comté or cheddar.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Scatter with extra pine nuts to serve.
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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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