Gnuddi are gnocci-like little dumplings made with ricotta rather than potatoes. It is said to be the filling for ravioli without the pasta, which to me sounds – and is – just the good bits. These are simple and light in texture, a little rich and delicious. A great entree or vegetarian option, which won’t leave you feeling like you have missed out on something.
I did make this ricotta myself, after a conversation that set me imagining warm fresh ricotta drizzled with honey and berries for breakfast. It is very delicious I promise you but not what happened this time!
I had intended to pass on the recipe for making ricotta, but after making the ricotta and waiting for the subsequent draining my timing went way past breakfast. Considering the cost when using good quality milk, it actually very similar to the wonderful Zany Zeus ricotta. I was not convinced you would want to know how to make it after that result but do let me know if you do want to know and I will happily show you how it is made. The method as it is is very simple.
I then returned to ricotta gnuddi, an idea I have been working with, and now thanks to my beautiful fresh ricotta I have a recipe worth sharing.
I served these two ways today. Firstly, with a little crisp fried sage and brown butter and a simple salad of rocket with a lemon vinaigrette, and secondly with some fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, a delicious summer version. Think of pasta sauces you enjoy and you could use these as you like. I can imagine in cooler weather some delicious field mushrooms or a rich beef ragout!
Remember that they are a little fragile, so I wouldn’t plan to toss them through the sauce.
After the initial rolling into balls they can be left in the fridge for up to 36 hours. They will develop a slight skin around the outside leaving the inside a delicious, delicate surprise
FRESH RICOTTA AND PARMESAN GNUDDI RECIPE
Makes approximately 20-24 teaspoon size Gnuddi. These will almost double in size once cooked, making enough for four not too greedy portions
- 350 gm well drained ricotta (if your ricotta seems a little wet let it drain through muslin in a sieve for an hour or so until it is firm)
- 100gm finely grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese ( pecorino is quite salty so adjust your seasoning to taste)
- 3 small or two large eggs.
- Approx. one teaspoon of salt and a grind of pepper.
- Optional zest of 1/2 a lemon
- Optional grating of fresh nutmeg
- 1 cup semolina for rolling (you could swap in flour or gluten free flour, or I used polenta that I put in the food processor for a while to grind finely)
Whisk together eggs and seasonings.
Crumble in your Ricotta and mix all together well this should form a firm mixture.
Taking teaspoonfuls at a time, form it into balls in your hand and then roll in a baking tray filled with semolina flour
These can now be stored till you are ready to cook or can be cooked straight away
To cook your Gnuddi , you need a large pot of salted gently boiling water, a slotted spoon or small sieve for taking the ricotta out of the pot and some paper towels to drain them on.
Place your Gnuddi gently in the pot of boiling water, allow enough room for them all to float gently to the top. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot. You will want to prevent over-crowding and taking the water temperature down to low. Once they float to the top allow to boil for four minutes before removing to your paper towels to drain.
You can serve these straight away but I think that they work just as well at room temperature on a composed salad plate. Although the uncooked Gnuddi can be stored for a couple of days, once cooked I would plan to serve them on that day for best results.