Leftover Ham Solution #2: Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham

There is nothing better than the cook once, eat twice philosophy.  With the gorgeous ham you prepared for Easter, this recipe comes together in minutes.  Gnocchi cooks fast and tastes great with ham.  The pesto is fresh and flavorful, with a unique twist by adding asparagus.  If you enjoyed the pizza recipe from yesterday, you will love this pasta recipe today!


Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham

2 cups ham, cubed

12 ounces asparagus

3/4 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup olive oil, OR cooking oil

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoons garlic, minced (6 cloves)

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 16-oz package potato gnocchi, OR 8 ounces rotini (about 4 cups)

Snap off and discard woody portions of asparagus. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook asparagus in a small amount of boiling water about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.

For pesto, in a food processor or blender, combine asparagus, basil, cheese, walnuts, olive oil, water, garlic and pepper. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, scraping sides occasionally. Divide pesto into thirds. Transfer 2 portions to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Set aside remaining portion.

Prepare gnocchi or rotini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook ham cubes in skillet until heated through. Stir remaining portion of the pesto into ham cubes; heat through. Drain gnocchi and toss with pesto-ham mixture.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Nutritional Information per Serving:

Calories: 355                                         Fat: 19g                                    Saturated Fat: 8g

Cholesterol: 63mg                             Sodium: 1070mg               Carbohydrates: 22g

Protein:  23g                                           Fiber: 2g


Kristina’s Tips and Tricks:

This recipe makes more pesto than is necessary for the Gnocchi and Ham dish.  Simply freeze the remainder and you have an extraordinary sauce to jazz up dinner anytime.  Instead of placing all of it in a single freezer container, I have a great trick!  I like to freeze pesto in ice cube trays.  You heard me right!  By freezing pesto in ice cube trays you create perfect, single serving sizes.  For a quick and easy dinner, simply pop it out of the tray, warm and toss with some angel hair pasta.  It would also taste great spooned over some grilled pork chops during the summer months.  Really, the possibilities are endless!  Dinner is fresh, fast, and so convenient because you did all the work earlier!


7 thoughts on “Leftover Ham Solution #2: Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham

  1. LOVE pesto!!!! but i almost never freeze it. I usually put mine in the fridge and top it off with olive oil ( as you scoop out, make sure oil covers all areas). TIP: try using a scoop of pesto in your minestrone, its summer in a bowl.

  2. Thanks for the ideas! I’ve been enjoying the new recipes. It’s a lot more helpful now, with toddler friendly things.

  3. I would like to know how to make the pesto is you could please send to my e-mail I would thank you soo much , I love that recipe thanks.

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