For the gnocchi: Place washed, whole potatoes in a pot and add cold water to cover. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then uncover and let simmer until fully cooked, 55 to 60 minutes. Peel potatoes while they are still hot, then mash them.
Mound the flour on a cutting board, then hollow out its center so that the flour mound is shaped like a doughnut. Add the mashed potatoes, salt and egg in the middle of the flour. Mix all of the ingredients together. Once the ingredients are mixed together, remove a lemon-sized portion and make a ball of dough. Using both hands, roll the ball of dough back and forth on the cutting board, drawing the dough out into a snake 10 to 11 inches long, approximately the circumference of your finger. Cut into small pieces, about 1/2-inch in length. Using your thumb, gently press each piece across the top of the tines of a fork, creating a beautiful and authentic gnocchi from the old world. Place on a sheet tray dusted with flour to prevent them from sticking together. Continue in the same manner until all the dough is made into gnocchi.
Meanwhile, boil a pot of water. Once the water boils, add a pinch of salt to it and add the gnocchi. When the gnocchi is fully cooked, it will rise to the surface and float. Remove the cooked gnocchi and strain using a colander.
For the sauce: Place the Italian peeled tomatoes in a blender and puree. Transfer the pureed tomatoes to a saute pan and add the cream and salt. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the pesto quickly, then remove the pan from the heat, as pesto does not like to be cooked.
Add the cooked gnocchi to the completed sauce. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ