TASTE of Pesto Gnocchi from da Aristide Manarola
Welcome to TASTE, a delicious part of Walking On Travels that will give you ideas for your next dining adventure with or without your kids. For many of us, we loved checking out the latest restaurant before we had kids, but we forgot about food after the baby was born. It is time to reignite those taste buds and get excited about what is out there to be devoured and enjoyed.
What: Pesto Gnocchi
Where: da Aristide Ristorante, via Discovolo, 290, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy (Cinque Terre)
Why: The smell of basil fills the air as a hot plate of homemade gnocchi comes out smothered in brilliant green pesto. There is nothing more simple or so wonderful to be found in all of Italy, or at least not near Genoa, in the Liguria region of northern Italy, where pesto was invented. Sitting at da Aristide Ristorante in Manarola, one of the five towns of the Cinque Terre, brought those fresh flavors to life as the sea air blew through the main street high above the shoreline. The boys and I were exploring the area from our home base in Levanto, just north of the Cinque Terre. I’d had pesto our first night in town, but nothing compared to these fresh little balls of dough dressed in a brilliant basil, olive oil, nut and cheese sauce. The kids tried to steal it. My local white wine mingled with the flavors beautifully. I only wish I could bring leftovers back home with me. No way would there be anything left on my plate though. The bread on the table was used to sop up the last dregs to be found. Just like I did in Rome, when I had my first perfect linguine pesto pasta oh so many years ago, I will dream about this gnocchi and bring the family back again to eat there. Next time I might even try the local fish, but that afternoon all I wanted was presto and I got my wish.
Do you love pesto? Where did you find your favorite?
If you have a favorite morsel you discovered during your wanderings that you would like to share, please be in touch. I’m always looking to highlight the best bites around.