Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

Gnudi are an interesting sort of food.  They’re basically the inside of a ravioli without the pasta wrapper.  They’re incredibly delicate and light, and were a hundred times easier than I expected them to be.

I was honestly expecting this to be a heavy dish.  Ravioli are quite heavy in my opinion, although absolutely wonderful, and I figured if I was making the cheesy filling, that would probably be about the same.

It’s not.

Somehow there’s a lightness to gnudi that eludes ravioli.  I can’t quite credit the pasta wraps in ravioli for having all that heft, but they must.

Once you have your mix combined, you use a ziploc bag to pipe out similarly-sized balls and carefully roll them into shape.  Coating them in flour and then semolina helps them retain their shape as they chill in the fridge, and as they cook.

A quick simmer and they’re ready to be served, preferably over a bed of fresh sauteed tomatoes.  Yum.

Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi

1 box frozen spinach – thawed, all excess water removed, and chopped
2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1/8 t ground nutmeg (optional)
2 cups parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

1 plate of flour for rolling
1 large pan of semolina for rolling and chilling

1. In a large bowl combine ricotta, spinach, egg, nutmeg, parmesan, salt and flour.  Only mix until incorporated, do not overmix.

2.  Spoon into a large ziploc bag and snip the corner off.  Using this like a pastry bag, pipe cheese mixture onto plate of flour in roughly golf-ball-sized lumps.  **I suggest piping 5 to 8 at a time, working steps 2 and 3, and repeating until the cheese is gone.

3.  Carefully coat all sides of the gnudi in flour.  In an open hand, very gently roll the gnudi into roughly a ball.  Transfer to pan of semolina and gently roll to coat in semolina as well.  Place to the side of pan, leaving room to roll more gnudi.  Continue steps 2 and 3 until all cheese has been rolled into gnudi.

4.  Place pan with gnudi into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours to chill.

5.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and reduce heat to a low boil or high simmer.  Gently cook gnudi in batches of 5 at a time.  The gnudi are done when they float to the top of the water, roughly 5 minutes.

6.  Transfer to a plate and serve with your choice of sauce.  Enjoy!!


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