Gnocchi Primavera with Creamy Grana Padano & Pea Puree

30 minutes
to cook

Alex Mackay, cook, teacher, writer, and food lover serves up a collection of his recipes made for sharing showing the versatility of Grana Padano PDO cheese. With lite bites to quick pasta: brunch to supper standbys you can find recipes for every occassion this Easter.

This is a perfect recipe for the start of spring and can also become your super standby because you can make it entirely with frozen peas. Otherwise, the vegetable mixture is a little of what you fancy combined with what is freshest and best. The puree gives the dish a creamy texture without adding any cream. The best way to check if green vegetables are ready is to have a bowl of cold water next to your cooker, lift a vegetable out of the boiling water with tongs, dip it into the cold water so that you don't burn your tongue, then taste it. To lift the vegetables and gnocchi out of the water, a wire spider (so named because it looks like a spider's web) is the best option. The puree can be made and refrigerated at least a day before serving.

Serves: 4; Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes; Difficulty: Easy

  • method
  • Ingredients


1. Boil your kettle. Prepare a large bowl of cold water. Warm your plates.
2. Start with the pea and Grana Padano puree. Pour 1 and ¼ litres of boiling water from your kettle into a medium sized pan. Add 1 tsp salt. Bring back to the boil on your cooker. Put the peas into the pan. Boil the peas for 3 minutes or 4 if they're frozen. Lift them out with a sieve then transfer them into the bowl of cold water. Once the peas are cold, transfer half to a blender and half to a plate.
3. Add the chilli, 5 tbsp of olive oil and the 100g Grana Padano to the half of the peas in the blender. Blend to a smooth puree, roughly the thickness of pesto, add more oil or water, 1 tbsp at a time, if you ned to, so that the blades turn.
4. Bring the water back to the boil then boil the gnocchi according to the instructions on the packet. Once they are ready, lift them onto the plate with the peas.
5. Bring the water back to the boil, add the green vegetables and boil for 3-4 minutes until they are tender. Remove a mugful of the boiling water, then strain the vegetables through a sieve. You can keep the cooking liquor to use as a vegetable stock in another recipe.
6. Add half the mugful of water back to the pan. Stir in the pea puree and heat it through. Toss in the cooked gnocchi and peas, followed by the rest of the vegetables. Heat them through for about a minute. Take the pan off the heat. Add the 80g grated Grana Padano. Toss it in. Add more hot liquid from your mug if you like it more saucy.
7. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon into warm plates and top with the rocket and or watercress.


300g Peas (frozen are fine)
1 small green chilli, finely chopped
180g freshly grated Grana Padano
5-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or water for a lighter version)
600g potato gnocchi
400g mixed green vegetables (I used sugar snap peas, asparagus, mangetout, spring onion and broccoli to show you a little variety, but 1 or 2 of these will do) cut to roughly the same size
Watercress and/or rocket leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prep Ahead: The puree can be made and refrigerated at least a day before serving.

Using a fan-assisted oven? Click here


Large bowl
Medium sized pan

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