Shrimp & Gnocchi, Pesto Rosso; the locks

First off, I confess that I did this the easy way.

I can buy cooked shrimp that are still in the shells, forcing mon mari to peel them, cooked shrimp that are already peeled, or frozen, raw shrimp. I buy the cooked, peeled shrimp.

We like fried gnocchi. I can buy gnocchi that has to be boiled before it’s fried or I can buy gnocchi that goes right into the skillet with a bit of olive oil. I buy the latter.

I can make my own pesto rosso, and have often, or I can buy a jar of a good Italian pesto rosso. For this dish I bought the pesto rosso.

For the recipe, I am assuming that you, the reader, will use raw, peeled shrimp, gnocchi that must be boiled and purchased pesto rosso all of which gives a cooking time of 25 minutes. My ‘cheats’ have it on the table in under 15 minutes.

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Shrimp & Gnocchi, Pesto Rosso

You could use regular pesto for this if you prefer (or have it on hand). And regular green basil rather than the purple.

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Fish


  • 8oz (250gr) shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 8oz (250gr) fresh gnocchi
  • 4 tbs pesto rosso
  • 4 tbs Greek yogurt
  • 4 tbs purple basil, roughly chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half


  • Cook gnocchi in boiling water just until it floats, 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Drain and immediately put in a hot skillet, big enough to hold it all in a single layer.
  • Add 1 tbs olive and toss to coat. Fry over medium heat, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, 6 – 8 minutes. 
  • Remove gnocchi to a plate.
  • Add remaining 1 tbs olive oil, shrimp, and fry until cooked through, 5 – 7 minutes
  • Return gnocchi and add cherry tomatoes. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes, just to soften tomatoes.
  • Add pesto rosso, yogurt, basil and stir to combine. 
  • Serve immediately or heat through for a minute or 2.


Shrimp are done when they turn opaque and curl.

Shrimp Gnocchi & Pesto Rosso

I grew up on the Mississippi, just above Lock & Dam #5. There was serious traffic on the river (I don’t know if there still is….) with long, wide barges hauling coal up and down the river all summer long. Maneuvering a ‘barge’ through the locks often took more than an hour. The tugboat would make 2 or 3 trips through the locks with sections of the barge until it all was on the other side to be reconnected and go on it’s way.

Having watched the big boats going through the big locks on the mighty Mississippi makes us fascinated with watching the little boats and little locks on the canal.

The section of the canal that has a water bridge over the river has a set of double locks.

This is the ‘waiting area’ after one crosses the water bridge which you can see in the distance.

This is the first set of locks. You can just make out the little control house of the second set in the distance. There were no boats last week when we were there.

In August, though, it was busy. I took this photo standing on the bridge over the far end of the second set:

One boat is waiting to go towards the river and there are 2 on the other side waiting to come this way.

The people on the boat have to handle tying up their boats. There is a rope / pull of some sort hanging over the canal before the locks that the boaters pull to open them – with the appropriate lights telling them when it’s their turn to pull and go through.

7 thoughts on “Shrimp & Gnocchi, Pesto Rosso; the locks”

  1. I am of the mindset that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cooked and peeled shrimp that’s flash frozen. I use it often. I also use gnocchi that I can just toss in the frying pan though my gnocchi of choice is supposed to be boiled. That kind, I use with sauces so I don’t have to boil it. And there’s nothing wrong with jarred pesto as I’ve found out.

    Didn’t you ever visit the Soo locks?I did when I was young. They were fascinating to watch.

    • No, I never did… so close, yet so far away. I grew up near Lock & Dam #5, Mississippi. There was a bluff just above it, with a park and we could sit up there and watch it all. Or get right next to it at river level. It was the hubs favorite part of visiting my family lol

  2. Ha! I love your “do as I say, not as I do” instructions! The shrimp and gnocchi with pesto rosso look wonderful!

    Equally wonderful are those photos of the locks on the canal. So lovely! Is there a good tow path for bicycling alongside for those who don’t have a boat? I hope so. I hope so!

    • There is a very long, paved path for bikes and walkers – no horses. It’s almost the entire length of the canal which runs from close to Bordeaux to Toulouse where it connect to the Canal du Midi. We see lots of people with saddle bags that I assume contain tents, etc. for doing the whole route. We just enjoy our section lol

      • Way back in the last century, we rode on the Canal du Midi. It was beautiful! But when we got to the section of the tow path that was just a narrow dirt path overgrown with grasses (nearish Carcassonne), we were compelled to move over onto the D-route.

        That was such wonderful riding!!

  3. I love watching river traffic…I never tire of rivers. Now I only have the Yarra close by. Not much happening with lockdown

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