Wine & Other Stories

Sardinian gnocchi with pesto genovese and a Vermentino wine

Written by Veronica Lavenia

‘Malloreddus’, the traditional pasta from Sardinia, takes its name from the Southern Sardinian word for ‘bull’, owing to its distinct shape and texture. Made from durum wheat semolina, it’s a true representation of Sardinian culinary heritage.

Pesto has been used since Roman times. The recipe, as we know it today, dates back to the nineteenth century. Extra virgin olive oil, basil (brought by the Arabs in the Mediterranean), pine nuts and cheese, mixed together and pounded in a mortar, gave birth to one of the most famous and popular sauces in the world. A sauce that brings colors and flavors of the Italian Riviera.

Legend says there was a monastery near Genoa, where the creation of pesto took place by a priest at St. Basil’s. The priest, tired of the usual meal, picked up the basil growing around, combined it with the few ingredients offered by the faithful and mashed the ingredients together and created the first pesto.

There are many regional variations of pesto across Italy, and while this specific recipe excludes garlic, it still captures the intensely delicious flavor of fresh basil.

Vermentino 2019 by Laura Aschero is our suggested pairing. For the review click here.

Vermentino 2019 - Laura Aschero

© Ph. Piero Pardini Sommelier

  • A fistful of fresh basil
  • 160 g Sardinian gnocchi
  • 50 g Parmigiano cheese
  • 50 g Pecorino cheese
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 7–8 tbsp EVOO
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Wash the Basil. Once washed, pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
  2. Place the clean basil leaves in a blender. Add the grated Parmigiano cheese, grated Pecorino cheese, pine nuts, and 7-8 tablespoons of EVOO. Blend until smooth. If you desire a thinner texture for your pesto, you can add more olive oil and blend again until you reach the desired consistency.


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the Sardinian gnocchi to the boiling water and cook according to the instructions on the package, ensuring they are cooked al dente. Once the gnocchi is cooked, drain the water.
  2. If the pesto is too thick, dilute it with a bit of the water you used for cooking the gnocchi until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.
  3. Place the cooked gnocchi in a large bowl and pour the pesto sauce over it. Toss well to ensure each gnocchi is coated with the pesto.

About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Writer, book author and magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International magazines.
Digital Content Manager and Communication Manager at "The Wolf Post", since the birth of the platform.

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