Whole-Wheat Gnocchi with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Homemade Gnocchi with Sundried Tomato Sauce
We all love pasta, don’t we? It’s one of the easiest meals to fix on a hurried weeknight. Boil a box of pasta, whip up a quick tomato sauce, fix a salad, and you have a meal that’s not only quite healthy but delicious and sure to please.

But fresh pasta is an even more sublime experience. The wonderful texture is to die for, and the taste absolutely incomparable.

I’d long been wanting to make some gnocchi, a small, handmade potato pasta, especially after I watched that wonderful chef Lidia Bastianich cook up some on her public-television show. But I finally only got around to it this week.

Gnocchi does require a little labor, because you have to hand-make the dumplings, but believe me, it is a labor of love and well worth it.

I used whole-wheat to make my gnocchi, and the taste was so delicious, I’m glad I did not follow other recipes which suggested all-purpose flour.

I made a very simple sundried tomato pesto sauce for my gnocchi that gave this dish a huge burst of flavor while letting the beautiful texture and taste of the gnocchi come through.

So here’s the recipe. It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend, and I gotta run. Wish you all a lovely, lovely weekend, and don’t forget to come up with ideas and recipes for It’s A Vegan World: Italian. In fact, that’s where this gnocchi recipe’s off to.

Homemade Whole-Wheat Gnocchi

Whole-Wheat Gnocchi with Sundried Tomato Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • For Gnocchi:
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour (can use regular whole-wheat or all-purpose)
  • 2 large baking potatoes like russet potatoes, boiled or zapped in the microwave until a fork stuck in the middle sinks through. Peel and mash, making sure there are no lumps. I put mine through a potato ricer.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For Sundried Tomato Pesto:
  • ⅔ cup of oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A handful (around ¼ cup) of walnuts
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp red chili powder, like cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  1. Make the Gnocchi:
  2. Mix the ingredients into a smooth dough. You won't need any water, I didn't, but if the dough refuses to come together for any reason, add a little water.
  3. Take a couple of tablespoons of the dough and roll into a cylinder about ½ inch thick.
  4. With a knife, cut the cylinder at ¼-inch intervals.
  5. Take each piece and lightly shape it into a cylindrical shape. Then, with your thumb, press the gnocchi into the tines of a fork, while making a dent in the back with your thumb at the same time.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 2 tbsp salt to it.
  7. Put about a fourth of the gnocchi into the boiling water. It will sink first and rise as it cooks. Once the gnocchi has risen, remove to a plate. Each batch will take about 2 minutes each.
  8. Make the sundried tomato pesto:
  9. Place all ingredients other than olive oil into a food processor.
  10. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
  11. Once you have a granular but even paste, turn off the food processor. Check for salt.
  12. Mix with gnocchi.

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  1. says

    Lovely vegan italian dish. I tried gnocchi once. It was made by an italian chef who was invited to hyatt at kolkata. I was okay and not love at first sight! I guess it takes time to like boiled balls of flour! Now you’ve inspired me to give it a try again!

  2. says

    Am so making this Vaishali. I have tried making ‘sun dried’ tomatoes in the oven and they come very close to the real thing. :-)
    Such a quick reipe ( what say I make the gnocchi first and store it in the fridge for a coupla days for later use? Or does it have to be made absolutely fresh?

  3. says

    Varsha, Thanks!

    Dibs, With the right sauce, these do taste wonderful. I hope you try them again.

    Sharmila, sure, you can absolutely make them first and freeze them. Spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze them first, then put them in a plastic bag. They’ll keep for several weeks.
    Thaw them before use. Then prepare according to directions.

  4. says

    This has been on my mind for sometime! Thanks for the vegan version:) BTW, saw slumdog millionaire and thoroughly enjoyed the true Bollywood ishtyle of rags to riches – I love happy endings!

  5. says

    Thats an extraordinary recipe Vaishalli. Looks so rich. Love the sundried tomatoes.

    I did not know about the event. Lets see if I can cook up something… i see there’s still time.

  6. says

    The gnocchi reminds the sweet we make Gulgul (IN TN) with the back of fork! Lots os work which is worth looks absolutely delicious the pesto too

  7. says

    Delicious Gnocchi,I like the luscious red color of the sun dried tomatoes pesto,serving with avocados is very refreshing:).And thanks for correcting me ,wasn’t aware that honey is not a part of vegan diet.

  8. says

    Amazing, Vaishali. I never knew making the pasta at home was so easy! I will surely try this. I do have various things I have tried out myself, but not sure if it will be authentic Italian stuff. I just throw in stuff to make a sauce, and mix with some boiled veggies before tossing the pasta in.of course I use olive oil.but hope I can submit them for the event..:-)

  9. Anonymous says

    hi Vaishali, thanks for your quick response. I definitely wanna try this out. One more quick question, can I use the oil that comes in the jar along with these tomatoes or just discard it? This is going to be my first experiment with sundried tomatoes so didnt want to mess it up :).

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