“gnudo” in the local tuscan dialect means “naked”, because the ricotta and spinach filling that usually is covered with a shell of fresh pasta in this case is without “clothes”!
The dish is really simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy. You will need just few ingredients, but I can say without doubts than the gnudi are not easy to make.
But everybody love them so I tell you to give them a try… just follow these tips.
500 g. (about 17 oz) fresh spinach
350 gr. (12.3 oz) sheep ricotta
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
about 1 or 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
50 gr. (1.7 oz) butter
sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper
Clean and wash the spinach under the running water.
Steam the spinach for few minutes. Let them cool completely, then squeeze well the spinach with your hands taking out all the liquid.
Chop the spinach thinly. In a large bowl combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, nutmeg and pepper.
In a small bowl crack the egg and beat it. Add the egg to the mixture a little bit at time, stirring well. Sometime you don’t need all the egg – it’s important that you don’t see any running egg into the bowl otherwise you will need more a flour.
Add one tablespoon of flour stirring well until incorporated, you need to obtain a compact mixture.
Bring to the boil a large pot filled with water.
In a large pan melt the butter, add 4 or 5 sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cook at medium low until the butter will be melted and the colour start to turns to the light gold. Turn of the heat.
You can choose to shape the gnudi using two spoons – like the one you can see on the pictures – and dropping the directly into the boil water.
You can do also some small balls and roll them into a dish with a little bit of flour. It’s important to avowing any excess of flour.
Once the water is boil add a generous amount of salt, turn the heat to the medium low – it’s important to avoid and hard boiling as the gnudi are very delicate.
Pour the gnudi into the water and cook until they will float on the surface. Don’t wait that all the gnudi are ready, but transfer them immediately into the sauce once they float.
Stir into the sauce gently – using a spatula.