I have been thinking about cooking gnudi for a while now. Gnudi is Italian for ‘naked’ and intends that these dumplings are made from only the filling in a ravioli and therefore is a naked pasta.
They’re made from ricotta and parmesan and a little flour to firm up. According to my pasta bible, The Geometry of Pasta, can these guys also be called malfetti depending on which Italian region you’re in. (This recipe is actually not from the book just mentioned but from Bon Appetit magazine via the Swedish food blog Smaskens.)
I wanted to serve my gnudi with a light and fresh tomato sauce and opted for one quickly made from fresh tomatoes. I used dried herbs as I was out of fresh ones, but this sauce would be even more delicious with a generous handful of chopped fresh basil.
Gnudi is similar in texture to gnocchi, but feels lighter and less doughy. Boiled I prefer gnudi to gnocchi, but not much beats crusty golden gnocchi gently fried in butter.
Gnudi, serves 2-3 as a main course, 4-6 as a starter
250 gram ricotta
100 ml finely grated matured parmesan
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp sea salt
some freshly grated black pepper
60 gram 00-flour
Mix the ingredients to a paste. Dust a baking sheet with flour. Shape gnudi using two spoons. Dip one spoon in flour and use it to gently push the shaped gnudi onto the floured baking sheet. Dust the shaped gnudi with some flour.
Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan and add some salt. Use a spoon to transfer the gnudi to the pan, one at the time. Let them cook for 5-6 minutes; continue cooking even after they have risen to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and serve immediately.
Easy tomato sauce, enough for one batch of gnudi
4 fresh tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, grated or pressed
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp dried Italian herbs or a handful chopped fresh basil
salt, black pepper
Chop the tomatoes and place in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and stir while cooking on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and spices and season to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes and adjust the seasoning.
Plate the gnudi, spoon over tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated parmesan.