Fast polenta gnocchi winter green pesto, hazelnuts and brie

Fast polenta gnocchi with winter green pesto, hazelnuts and brie.
Fast polenta gnocchi with winter green pesto, hazelnuts and brie.  Photo: James Moffatt
Difficulty
Easy

Looks good enough to serve at a dinner party, yet this polenta pasta dish is deceptively simple to throw together.

Ingredients

2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock

1 1⁄2 cups instant polenta

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves

1 cup basil leaves

 ¼  cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped, plus extra to serve

 ¼  cup finely grated pecorino cheese

1 garlic clove, crushed

 ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

baby amaranth leaves or purple basil leaves, to serve (optional)

250g triple cream brie, sliced

Method

1. Place the stock in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Gradually add the polenta, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Take off the heat, add the egg and mix well to combine. Spoon into a lightly greased 20cm x 20cm tray and refrigerate until firm and set. 

2. Meanwhile, blanch kale in salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh. Place in a food processor with basil, hazelnuts, pecorino and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add the oil and lemon zest and process until smooth. Set aside. 

3. Remove the polenta from the tray and cut into 2.5cm squares. In batches, cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until it floats to the top. Drain, then toss with the pesto. Serve topped with cheese, extra hazelnuts and micro herbs, if using.