This dish is one of Steph’s favourites. Although it means naked pasta, I like to top spaghetti with it. It’s naked in the sense that it’s the stuffing in the pasta without the wrapper, like ravioli. The ricotta mixture would be an excellent cannelloni stuffing. Typically gnudi is a dumpling, shaped into little balls and dropped into hot, salted water to cook. This one is baked and ridiculously easy to make. I only slightly adapted this recipe from David Rocco. I like to add onion to the spinach mixture and some lemon zest, to brighten and freshen the flavour. -BVox
Source: David Rocco
1 large bunch raw spinach, chopped
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for smearing hands
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb fresh ricotta cheese (450g)
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
salt to taste
small quantity of flour, if needed
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sauté spinach with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and half the quantity of the garlic for a few minutes until soft. Let cool. Then in a bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, parmigiano and salt. Add a small amount of flour, a little at a time, only if ricotta if filled with too much moisture. Combine mixture thoroughly.
Smear some olive oil on your hands. Scoop mixture, in the amount of an egg, onto the palm of your hands and form into a compact ball. Repeat until mixture is consumed. In a saucepan, heat up remaining olive oil, then add remaining garlic, cherry tomatoes and basil and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Spoon half the sauce into a baking dish, then add the gnudi balls and top with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with parmigiano and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.