I only tried Gnudi for the first time recently…and it’s amazing! It’s like nothing else I have ever tasted. A little bit like Gnocchi but made of ricotta instead of potatoes. The word Gnudi comes from the Italian for ‘nude’ and refers to the idea of ‘naked ravioli’. The dumplings are delicate, soft and melt in your mouth. Even better, they are so easy to make!
Most recipes have flour and sometimes egg but I have adapted a recipe by Simon Hopkinson that is basically a mixture of Ricotta and Parmesan. You do have to make them the day before and leave them in the fridge overnight in semolina so that they form a lovely tender skin but trust me the results are worth the wait.
Give Gnudi a try…you won’t regret it!
Ricotta & basil Gnudi with a quick tomato sauce served with a raw courgette salad
Serves 2 adults (+ 1 toddler for the gnudi )
Preparation time: 10- 15 min | Chill overnight | Cooking time: 3-4 min
250g fresh ricotta
50g freshly grated Parmesan
A few gratings of nutmeg
Approx 20 basil leaves, finely chopped
250g semolina, approx.
1 clove garlic
1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Green& Yellow courgette salad:
1 baby yellow courgette
1 baby green courgette
salt & pepper
Extra basil & parmesan to serve.
In a bowl beat together the Ricotta, Parmesan, Basil and Nutmeg until well mixed and smooth. Using a teaspoon of the ricotta mix, roll into balls using the palms of your hands.
If you rub your hands lightly in water and coat them in semolina the Gnudi will be easier to roll and won’t stick as much.
Drop the Gnudi into a deep dish of semolina and roll them around so that they are evenly coated. At this point I slightly flattened the balls to create ovals.
Repeat the process until you have used all the ricotta mixture. Layer the balls in the dish between liberal amounts of semolina. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge overnight. Do not make them too long in advance they will not keep longer than 2 days.
Once you are ready to eat them carefully take the Gnudi out of the semolina and put them on a plate ready to cook. Remember to put aside a few Gnudi for the baby recipe below.
Prepare the tomato sauce by frying the onion in a pan with olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and lightly fry for a few minutes before then adding a can of chopped tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper and simmer for 5 minutes approximately.
Meanwhile put a pan of water on the hob to boil.
To make the courgette salad use a speed peeler to cut thin ribbons of courgette. Place the ribbons in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, olive oil & fresh thyme to taste.
Bring a saucepan to the boil then turn down the heat to a rolling simmer. Drop the Gnudi into the water cooking until they float to the surface. Make sure not to overcook them or they will split open. Take out them out carefully using a slotted spoon and serve straight away over the tomato sauce. Serve the courgette salad on the side.
Garnish with extra Parmesan and a few fresh basil leaves.
Baby / Toddler recipe
Ricotta Gnudi served with a simple green & yellow courgette purée
Ingredients for the purée
1 baby green courgette & 1 baby yellow courgette, chopped.
½ clove garlic
Fry the shallot and garlic until tender in a dash of olive oil. Add the courgette and cook until tender. Blend to a purée using a hand blender.
Cook the remaining gnudi put aside and cook using the method described above. Serve with the courgette purée.