The famous Gnocchi originated in Northern Italy during the Roman age, and out of it, Gnudi was born. Gnudi is a similar dumpling containing semolina but utilises cheese instead of potato to make the dough. The term Gnudi comes from the Italian word for naked (“nudi”), the idea being that Gnudi is naked ravioli — just the filling without the pasta shell. Chef Francesco Marrucelli brings you his creation of this Florentine tradition which can make a tempting starter or first course for any occasion.
Gnudi has become popular as a cheesy upgrade from gnocchi, rich in crumbling Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and creamy ricotta. The flavours from the cheese are spiked with supplementary spinach and additional nutmeg, adding a nutty aroma to the dish. Every bite is fluffy, almost pillow-like in comparison to Gnocchi, making these dumplings a lighter option. We recommend a generous drizzle of Extra-virgin olive oil to finish off this elegant Tuscan dish.
Serves 4 - Cook in 45 minutes
- 500g fresh spinach
- 350g ricotta
- 100g grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons flour, plus extra for dredging
- Salt and pepper
- Ground nutmeg
While you wash the spinach, place a pot of water on the stove. Bring to boil, add a handful of cooking salt, and the spinach. Once cooked, drain and squeeze the spinach making sure to remove any excess liquid. Place the spinach aside or if you prefer more flavour, saute in a frying pan with olive oil and garlic.
Finely chop the spinach, and stir in a medium bowl with the ricotta, parmesan, two eggs, flour, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg (optional). Using a spoon, scoop out portions of the mix (about the size of a walnut) and, using damp hands, roll smooth and round balls. Dredge in flour, tapping off any excess flour and place on a floured surface. Set aside in a cool place covered with cling wrap until ready to cook, or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Serve warm with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and top with a basil leaf or two. Buon Appetito!