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Gnudi Recipe

Gnudi with tomato sauce [Photo taken at La Grotta di Tiburzi, Chiusdino]
Gnudi with tomato sauce [Photo taken at La Grotta di Tiburzi, Chiusdino]
"Gnudi" comes from the italian nudo (naked) and the tuscan dialect gnudo. These naked green spheres might not look very inviting, they are in fact missing their exterior pasta covering. The famous ricotta and spinach ravioli served throughout the country are in this recipe left alone without their dress... The effect is amazing - soft, creamy and tasty. The best part, the filling, is all you'll get in this famous tuscan specialty.  Just like in Crespelle alla Fiorentina, the use of spinach is often combined to that of a soft white creamy cheese. However in this case the filling is left unprotected and the result is a melt in the mouth morsel.   Ingredients Serves 6-8
  • 800 g (1lb 12 oz) fresh spinach
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh sheep's ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g (1 1/2 cup) parmesan cheese
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • flour
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 160g (5 3/4 oz)  butter
  • grated parmesan cheese and some white pepper
Preparation
  • Cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water* for 5 minutes.  It is very important you drain the spinach very well and when it cools down you can actually use your hands to squeeze any excess liquid out.  Chop spinach finely and place into a bowl with the eggs, ricotta, parmesan, some nutmeg and a pinch of salt.  Mix well.
  • Sprinkle your work surface or a large plate with some flour and wet your hands to begin creating little round balls. Prepare a pot of  salted water and bring to boil, at this point lightly drop the gnudi into your pot. When the gnudi are ready, 4 minutes more or less (depending on how large you make your gnudi) begin collecting and draining them with a skimmer. In the meantime you should melt the butter in a small pan with the sage leaves. Do not overheat or the butter will turn brown and the sage leaves will give it a bitter taste.
  • Place the gnudi on your plate add the melted butter and sage sauce and some grated parmesan cheese, if you like add some white or green pepper powder. You can also dress your gnudi with fresh tomato and basil sauce.
  • Tip* the quantity of water must be equal to the quantity of spinach