Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gnudi! My first recipe post baby!

I'm back! Sort of, anyway. Lil baby boy was born the first week of April and I don't really get to do much these days except wash bottles, do baby laundry and calm the little crying machine. But luckily my mother-in-law comes out on Tuesdays to play with the baby so I get some time to myself... and today, I cooked gnudi (pronounced nude-y).

My husband and I had been watching The Best Thing I Ever Made on Food Network and Scott Conant made gnudi with a mushroom sauce. Here is Scott's recipe: gnudi. It looked great! (Well, minus the mushroom sauce because my husband isn't a fan of mushrooms). And it seemed really easy to make. Plus, I had a HUGE tub of ricotta cheese that I needed to use by June. We always tend to waste ricotta because I buy it for one recipe and then it goes bad. But this time, I got one for free at the supermarket (and a huge tub) and I didn't want to waste it! I had already made calzones two weeks ago (recipe to come eventually) so I needed some more ricotta based recipes.

I actually had never heard of gnudi before. Gnudi is a type of gnocchi made from ricotta cheese and a little bit of flour. The result is a dumpling that some describe as "nude" ravioli, or filling without the pasta — that is to say, light, fluffy, and creamy. Scott's recipe used spinach and Parmesan cheese too and it was delicious!!

Prep time was supposedly 15 minutes, but it is only 15 minutes if you have all your ingredients assembled and water boiling. So my prep time was more like 40 minutes. The recipe suggested making one test ball to make sure it didn't fall apart in the boiling water. Of course mine did, but that just meant I needed to add more flour and breadcrumbs into the gnudi mixture. No big deal - I did and the next test ball was great!

My husband and I needed a sauce for the gnudi since we weren't making the mushroom one, so I made two. I made a garlic butter sauce with crushed red pepper and parsley flakes, and well as doctoring up some store bought red sauce with some crushed red pepper, black pepper, parsley flakes and garlic powder. Both sauces tasted great with the gnudi, but my husband liked the garlic butter one a little more. I

 think this will be a recipe I will make when I buy ricotta... now I just have to figure out if you can make a batch and freeze them. I know you can freeze ravioli, so I am guessing these can be frozen as well. I'll have to try it!

Here is the recipe for the gnudi (not the mushroom sauce). I actually made the full batch and followed it exactly.  


1 pound cow's milk ricotta, drained in a strainer for at least 2 hours (um, yeah, I drained it for like 20 min)
1/4 cup spinach, sauteed and finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg
2 egg yolks
Olive oil, for coating
4 tablespoons melted butter, for re-heating  


Mix the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs together.

Make 2 small balls and test cook by placing them in boiling water until they float, then shock in iced water. Taste. If they are too soft and don't hold together, add more flour or breadcrumbs and test again.

Portion all of the gnudi and roll into balls.

Cook in boiling water until they float, about 2 minutes, and shock in iced water. Coat in olive oil and reserve until ready to serve.
For reheating: Reheat the gnudi in a pan with salted simmering water and the melted butter.

I love trying new things! Enjoy!