Ricotta & Spinach Gnudi
March April 2014
From Nicole Gomes
1/2 c. cooked (squeezed dry) chopped fresh or frozen spinach
2 c. ricotta, best purchased from an Italian market. If sheep’s milk ricotta is available, go for it!
2 egg yolks
2 pinches freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c. finely grated Grana Padano parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1/2 t. kosher salt
6 c. fine durum semolina, found at Italian markets
6 T. butter
15 sage leaves
If using fresh spinach, boil 3 c. of water. Place 1 bunch (4 c.) clean, fresh, de-stemmed spinach into a bowl. Pour the boiled water over. Strain, then run cold water over the spinach to cool. Squeeze dry and chop. Mix the ricotta, egg yolk, nutmeg, spinach, parmesan cheese and salt until well combined.
Pour 3 c. of durum semolina onto a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Scoop heaping teaspoons of spinach ricotta mixture onto a plate and roll each one into a ricotta ball (gnudi) until round, then place on the semolina lined baking sheet. When all the gnudi are shaped and placed, sprinkle the remaining 3 c. of semolina over the gnudi. The gnudi must remain in the semolina for 3 days, in the fridge, not any longer. Each day, gently toss the gnudi around in the semolina until lightly coated.
When ready to cook, put the butter in a large sauté pan, heat on medium-high heat and allow the butter to lightly brown. Put the pan aside. Fill a pot with three inches of water. Lightly salt and bring to a boil. Dust off the excess semolina from the gnudi and place them in small batches in the boiling water – don’t crowd them. Shake the pan gently, but don’t stir the gnudi. Cook for 2 minutes. Place the browned butter pan back on medium heat. Remove the cooked gnudi from the water gently with a slotted spoon, allowing the water to drain off, and place them in the hot browned butter and shake lightly. Lightly season with salt. Place them on a plate, top with sage leaves and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6.
Notes from Nicole:
Try this 1-day recipe option:
Remove the durum semolina from the recipe and replace it with 1/2 c. all-purpose flour. Add the flour to the ricotta, spinach, egg mixture and just mix until well combined. Eliminate the step of leaving the gnudi in the semolina for three days. Instead, roll the ricotta spinach mixture into gnudi balls and immediately follow the boiling and browned butter cooking methods above.