Gnudi means “naked” as in an inside out ravioli. While a typical ravioli is filled with spinach and ricotta, gnudi is made entirely of the filling mixture, held together with a little flour. Its a great alternative to eating pasta, especially for those who are gluten free! Serve it with a sage-butter sauce as a delightful appetizer.
The recipe below is very easy to make. You don’t want to make gnudi day before as it may dry out.
Ingredients for Gnudi:
- 1.5 cups Ricotta cheese
- 1 lb. fresh or frozen spinach
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 egg yolks (leave out if vegetarian)
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup 00 pasta flour (more for dusting)
Ingredients for Sauce:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 8-10 fresh sage leaves
Steam the spinach leaves in a large pot until they are fully cooked. Drain the spinach using a sieve and allow for all the water to soak through. The spinach should be cool and dry before its ready to use. If there’s water remaining, then the gnudi will not hold together. Chop the spinach roughly and keep aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add spinach, ricotta, nutmeg, parmesan, eggs, flour and salt. Mix well until the dough is of uniform consistency. It will be soft to touch. Using your hands, take a walnut size pinch of the dough and shape it into a ball. Sprinkle flour on your hands and the gnudi if it starts to feel sticky.
Keep aside the gnudi balls and sprinkle more flours.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil ( same way you would make pasta) and drop in prepared gnudi gently. The balls will be cooked once they rise to the surface of boiling water (about 5 minutes). Remove with a strainer spatula and keep aside. Make sure the excess water is drained.
To make the sauce, heat the butter in a fry pan. Once the butter starts to brown, add the fresh sage leave and cook them for 2-3 minutes until fried. Pour over the gnudi and serve immediately.
Here is the original recipe for GNUDI in Italian courtesy of Luisa Donati, at Montestigliano Società agricola s.r.l.
INGREDIENTI PER 4 PERSONE
- 350g di ricotta
- 1 kg di bietole o spinaci
- Parmigiano grattugiato q.b.
- Una spolverata di noce moscata
- Sale q.b.
- Farina q.b.
- 40g di burro
- Qualche foglia di salvia fresca
Lavare accuratamente le verdure e bollirle in poca acqua salata per circa 10 minuti.
Scolarle bene e lasciarle raffreddare nello scolapasta affinchè si elimini tutta l’acqua in eccesso; quindi strizzarle con cura fra le mani e tritarle grossolanamente con un coltello.
Mischiare in una terrina le verdure con la ricotta, aggiungere la noce moscata e il parmigiano, aggiustare di sale; deve risultare un composto omogeneo e abbastanza asciutto.
Formare con le mani infarinate delle polpettine grandi come una noce, infarinarle bene e posarle in un piatto spolverato di farina.