Garden Pea Gnocchi with Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce

Garden Pea Gnocchi with Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce

Health-Supportive Culinary Arts student Julianna Abdallah won a second market basket challenge with a pea dish promoting world peace.

Photo by Prep Creative

This week's market basket challenge — a virtual opportunity for ICE students and alumni to keep practicing and developing their culinary voices while our campuses are closed — the focus ingredient inspired Julianna Abdallah, resonating with her childhood memories and current events. Here's how she developed the winning dish.

After a difficult week, it felt appropriate that the must-use Market Basket Challenge ingredient was peas. Aren’t we all seeking some world peas right now?

I have always loved peas and have very fond memories of picking peas from the garden with my great aunt as a kid in North Carolina. I’d sit with a giant bowl in my lap and “snap” them for hours. I thought about the simplicity of that time as I pondered what to make that would bring the humble little pea to life.

For this recipe, I wanted to develop a dish that really let the peas shine. In school, Chef Elliot Prag taught us how to make classic potato gnocchi during our pasta module, and I have dabbled in sweet potato and cauliflower varieties, so I thought, why not peas? They bring a sweetness and vibrancy to the delicate little pillows that complement the starchiness of the potatoes. With the peas, plus the addition of whole wheat flour, these gnocchi are not only delicious but have the added bonus of protein and fiber.

I love the convenience, perfect ripeness and price (!) of good ol’ frozen peas here, which are accessible year-round. Whether you use fresh or frozen, you will want to blanch and shock them to preserve the bright green color.

To contrast the sweetness of the peas, I wanted to pull in a bit of zing and creaminess with a simple lemon goat cheese sauce. It balances the flavors of the vegetables without overpowering the dish.

I purposefully left the assembly of the recipe up for interpretation here, because the pasta is so versatile. While I tapped into the power of earthy tarragon and fresh mint (a classic for peas) to elevate the flavor profile, any herbs you have on hand, like basil, thyme or parsley, would be lovely.

These gnocchi are plated over a thin layer of the lemon goat cheese sauce with fresh snap peas, zucchini ribbons and pea shoots, and you could easily add mushrooms and roasted carrots or amp up the greens and turn this into a fresh and colorful summer gnocchi salad. Either way, I suggest enjoying this dish al fresco with a glass of rosé.

Peas, love and gnocchi.


Garden peas and gnocchiGarden Pea Gnocchi with Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce


For the pea gnocchi:

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen green peas
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

For the lemon goat cheese sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

To serve (optional):

  • Zucchini ribbons
  • Cooked snap peas
  • Pea shoots
  • Fresh tarragon
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prep a bowl of ice water for shocking. Blanch the peas and green onions for 30 seconds in the boiling water. Remove from the pot and transfer to the ice bath. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water. Once cooled and drained, place peas and green onions in a high-speed blender with 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, salt and lemon juice. Blend until smooth, adding more water, one tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Pierce the skin of the potatoes all over with a fork, and bake 1 hour, or until tender. Peel the potatoes while they are still warm. Pass potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl. Cool slightly.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface. Add the eggs, pea puree, and salt to the potatoes and then add the flours. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to come together. Transfer to the floured surface. Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, and a little sticky, about 30 seconds (don’t overmix or the gnocchi will be gummy).
  4. Cover two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Scrape any dough bits off the work surface and re-flour. Tear off a small piece of dough and put a damp towel over the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Roll dough into a rope about 1 inch in diameter. With a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the rope crosswise every 1.5 inches. Roll each gnocchi across the tongs of a fork to create ridges. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Let gnocchi rest for 30 minutes before cooking.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Delicately drop in the gnocchi, stirring gently just to make sure they do not stick together. Once they float to the top of the water, allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes, then drain.
  6. To make the lemon goat cheese sauce, combine the olive oil, white wine and vegetable broth in a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until it has reduced by about half. Add the goat cheese and lemon juice. Continue simmering, stirring frequently, until cheese has melted and sauce is creamy and reaches nappé consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To assemble, spoon goat cheese sauce on the bottom of a plate. Top with 4-5 gnocchi, zucchini, snap peas and pea shoots. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with chopped tarragon, mint and freshly cracked black pepper.

See more winning recipes and explore Health-Supportive Culinary Arts.

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