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Gnocchi with Fava Beans, Peas & Asparagus

By Jonathan Waxman From Moveable Feast Season 1, Ep.9
Colin Clark

Servings: 4 as first course or side dish

The freshness of the spring quartet of vegetables (including both English peas and snap peas) in Waxman’s dish keeps the hefty gnocchi light. This recipe makes more gnocchi than you will need, but the remainder can be frozen for later use.


For the gnocchi

  • 3 russet potatoes (about 1-3/4 lb.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, more for the cooked gnocchi

For the vegetables

  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup fava beans, fresh or frozen
  • 6 medium spears asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 8 sugar snap pea pods, strings removed
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1/2 cup with a rasp grater)


Make the gnocchi

  • Put the potatoes in a 4- to 5-quart saucepan and cover with 1 inch of cool water. Add the garlic, rosemary, and the 1 Tbs. salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer over medium heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove the cooked potatoes from the water and let them cool slightly.
  • When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, peel them and force them through a ricer onto a clean work surface, making a well in the center. Add half of the flour, the egg, and the olive oil to the well and knead until well combined. Continue to add the flour in 1/4-cup increments until it is absorbed into the egg and oil mixture and a dough begins to form. You may not need all the flour. When the dough is still moist but no longer sticky, form it into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters with a sharp knife. Wrap three of the pieces in plastic and put them in the refrigerator.
  • Roll the remaining piece of dough on the work surface into a 1/2-inch thick rope, dusting with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 3/4-inch pieces and transfer them to a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining dough pieces.
  • Set aside about 60 gnocchi for four servings, and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, on baking sheets until needed. Freeze the remainder for another use on baking sheets for about 45 minutes, or until the gnocchi pieces are firmly frozen. Transfer the gnocchi to a freezer bag and store for future use.

Blanch the vegetables

  • Bring a 7- to 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Prepare a large paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath. When cool, transfer the peas to the paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Add the fava beans to the boiling water and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath. When cool, drain the favas and peel the outer skin. Place the beans on the plate with the peas.
  • Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice-water bath. When cool, transfer the asparagus to the paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Repeat this process with the sugar snap peas and drain on the plate with the asparagus. Cut the asparagus and snap peas into ¾-inch diagonal pieces. Set aside. Continue to boil the blanching water.

Cook the gnocchi

  • Set aside a large bowl for the cooked gnocchi. Drop as many gnocchi into the boiling water used to blanch the vegetables as will fit without crowding. When gnocchi rises to the top, continue cooking for another 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, place in the reserved bowl, drizzle with 1/2 tsp. of olive oil and gently mix with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking. Repeat this procedure with the remaining gnocchi.

Cook the vegetables

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the cooked gnocchi and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas, fava beans, asparagus, sugar snap peas, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook until the vegetables are just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add some of the pasta water to the pan if the mixture seems dry. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To serve

  • Spoon the mixture into shallow serving bowls and top with the cheese.


Recipe adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.

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Reviews (1 review)

  • rosebud2 | 06/16/2018

    a fantastic comination of flavours. A consistent hit for spring entertaining. Fabulous with Blackened Cajun Salmon steaks on a smear of butternut squash puree.

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