“Pesto simply means ‘paste’, so don’t limit yourself to basil and pine nuts – you can swap in any soft herbs, nuts or oils that you like (just remember the hard cheese and garlic are essential). In this classic Trapanese variation, creamy almonds take centre stage. As well as giving texture to the whole dish, they also provide you with protein and unsaturated fat. ”
Fill a deep pan with salted water and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Place a small frying pan on a medium heat and sprinkle in the almonds. Toast until golden, then tip into a bowl. Peel the garlic, finely grate into a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and mix to a paste.
Place almonds into a plastic bag, crush with the bottom of a pan, then add to the garlic.
Pick and very finely chop the basil, and stir into the garlic and almonds with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and black pepper, then finely grate in half the pecorino.
Halve the tomatoes and add to the pesto. Crush with your hands until they are mixed together.
Trim the beans and add to boiling water for 4 minutes, or until tender. Lift out of pan and chop into 3cm lengths. Put aside.
Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they float.
Drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water, then tip back into the warm pan along with the pesto and beans. Put the pan over low heat and stir gently, loosening with cooking water, until everything is hot and the gnocchi is coated with pesto.
Measure 1 tablespoon of oil into a bowl, season, and squeeze in lemon juice to taste. Add the rocket, then toss to cover.
Divide the gnocchi between plates, scatter with rocket and grate over the remaining pecorino.