Gnudi al Burro e Salvia
Source: Valentina Guolo-Migotto, Ca’Momi
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on December 9, 2017.
Gnudi, literally translating to “naked” in Italian, are simply fantastic little dumplings. Also given the moniker “malfatti,” (poorly made), the gnudi consist of the best part of ravioli, turned inside out. Quick and simple to prepare, and oh-so-satisfying, this dish will soon become a savory staple at your family table. The dough, before portioning, can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
2 pounds fresh spinach leaves
2 cups ricotta cheese, well-drained
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ – ½ cup sea salt
15 leaves sage, rough-chopped (or about 2 tablespoons of dried sage)
10 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature (about 1¼ stick)
To prepare the gnudi: Thoroughly wash & drain spinach leaves. Steam spinach in a small amount of water, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked (about 5-7 minutes). Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and drain, squeezing to remove excess liquid. Once cooled, finely chop and remove any additional moisture by blotting with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
In a large bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, flour, 1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, eggs, nutmeg & salt. Fold all ingredients together until just incorporated, without overworking the mixture. Use a 4 ounce portion scoop to measure gnudi & transfer to a lightly-floured baking sheet until ready to cook. Gently re-shape the gnudi into medium-sized balls with your hands (keeping the mixture cool helps to maintain their shape).
To cook the gnudi and finish the dish: Fill a Dutch oven or pasta cooker with water and place over high heat. Just prior to coming to a boil, add salt & taste the water. It should be noticeably briny. Add gnudi one at a time and cook for approximately 7 minutes, until just beginning to stiffen. It is best to cook the gnudi in small batches without overloading the pot.
While gnudi are cooking, melt butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat and add sage, cooking until the mixture begins to bubble.
When gnudi are cooked, scoop them from the water with a slotted spoon. Plate in shallow pasta bowls, drizzling 2 tablespoons of sage butter and ¼ cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top of each portion. Serve immediately.