Spinach Gnudi with Browned Butter

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2013 May/Jun

These large, gnocchi-like dumplings can be made with any kind of green you have on hand; cook it until it’s tender, then squeeze out any excess moisture and finely chop it. (This recipe is a great use for thawed frozen greens.) Serve the gnudi with browned butter or topped with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.



  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb.) fresh spinach
  • 1 c. ricotta
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 c. butter


Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Roughly chop the spinach, discarding any big stems, and put it into the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, then drain in a colander and set aside to cool. Press out as much extra moisture as possible, and finely chop the pile of cooked greens on a chopping board.

In a large bowl, gently stir together the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg and butter. Season the mixture with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the flour, being careful not to overwork it, and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Continue cooking it after it melts; it will foam, then turn golden and nutty. Remove it from the heat and set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a simmer.

Use two medium spoons to shape the dough into quenelles (small tapered ovals) by scraping about half a spoonful back and forth between the spoons. Place them on a floured surface and shake a little extra flour over top. Gently drop a few gnudi at a time into the simmering water, ensuring that it doesn’t reach a rolling boil, which could break apart the delicate dumplings. Cook the gnudi for a few minutes, or until they float to the top; at this point, you can remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a plate.

Serve the gnudi immediately, drizzled with browned butter, with extra parmesan cheese passed at the table. Serves 4.