Gnudi Colony (Pronounced “Nudie”): Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi with Quick Tomato Sauce

I know some of you may ask, “What are gnudi?” Is this post safe for work and safe for children? Should I not be looking at this post here?

Yes, yes it is. Gnudi can be thought of as ravioli filling without the actual pasta around it. They are more like dumplings made from the ricotta mixture, using eggs and flour as a binding agent. And they are delicious. They are similar to ricotta gnocchi, and if made well, should be light.

I’ve made gnudi before, and after cooking them in boiling water, have toasted them in some brown butter. They are delicious, and have a nice crispy texture on the outside, but I didn’t do that this time, instead opting to serve them with a quick tomato sauce.

I think with this batch, I used a little too much flour, so they were a little heavier than what I expected. But, they tasted good, and I know now to use less flour in the mixture. I’ll edit the ingredients below to reflect this reduction in flour.

What You’ll Need:

Sauce Ingredients:

– 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
– 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
– 1 small onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– ¼ cup water
– red pepper flake (optional)

Gnudi Ingredients:

– 15 oz of ricotta cheese (use full-fat here if you know what’s good, lol)
– 2 eggs
– ½ cup flour (add extra 1 tsp at a time if the mixture seems too thin)
– 1 package of thawed spinach, drained very well (or you can use cooled sautéed spinach)
– 1 cup of parmesan or your favorite grated cheese
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– a few grates of fresh nutmeg
– Salt and pepper to taste

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The How-To:

Note: Before starting to cook the sauce and gnudi, set a pot of water over medium / medium-high heat so that it comes to a boil while you’re prepping everything else. Salt the water well after it starts to boil.

Sauce:

 
1: In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, until hot. Add the onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. Let the onions and garlic sweat for a few minutes, making sure to stir to avoid burning anything. You can add the optional red pepper flake at this point to infuse the oil.

2: After the onions start to become soft, add the crushed tomatoes, the garlic paste, the water, and the oregano (or Italian seasoning). Stir, and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to stir occasionally while it cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gnudi:

1: If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the spinach by hand, then place in a bowl. But I used my small one. In the bowl of the food processor, place the spinach, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg, and pulse until finely chopped.

2: Add the ricotta, and pulse again until combined. Move to a medium sized bowl.

3: To the spinach and ricotta mixture, first add the grated cheese. Combine well.

4: Add the eggs next, mixing until the eggs are well combined.

5: Add the flour in small increments, making sure to mix well so that none of the flour remains.

6: Add some extra flour to a board, about 1 cup, and then using two spoons, make small ricotta dumplings. Place these in the flour, and roll until coated. Shape them lightly and set aside. Continue until all of the mixture is used up.

7: Cook the gnudi in batches, about 4-5 at a time if they are large, or more if they are smaller. They should float when they are done, which may take about 5-6 minutes or longer. Remove from the water, drain, and set aside.

8: When all are done, serve with the sauce and extra grated cheese.

Enjoy!

– Anthony

Click below to see the pictures individually…

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