Gnudi and Gnocchi are pasta that are very similar. They both are very light pasta dough. Gnudi translates to naked and you are suppose to think of Gnudi pasta as a ravioli without the dough. It’s filling that is barely held together and is made of ricotta cheese and sometimes a vegetable. It’s almost like eating just the filling from a ravioli. The Gnudi should look like the inside of a ravioli. It takes two days to make them because the soft filling sits in semolina flour overnight and draws out moisture and leaves a slight skin around the Gnudi.
Below the recipe for Forking Awesome Spinach and Fresh Ricotta Cheese Gnudi. I’ve included my directions for making fresh ricotta cheese and also the way I prepared the spinach for these Gnudi. This recipe takes two days to prepare. Also I do recommend reading the whole recipe before you give this a try.
A word of warning if you do the cheese and spinach my way the recipe will work out. Your cheese needs to be fairly firm and the spinach must be drained very well.
Ingredients to make about 80 Gnudi about 10 servings
1 bunch spinach (fresh cooked and drained)
1 XL egg – beaten
2 cup fresh ricotta cheese (It should be on the firm side, creamy but firm)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
big pinch white pepper -ground ( about 1/16 t.)
pinch fresh nutmeg grated
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 cup flour
2 cup semolina flour – (this doesn’t go into gnudi batter…..the semolina is used to draw out moisture from the pasta)
extra virgin olive oil to sprinkle on Gnudi so they don’t stick.
finish to taste with fresh ground sea salt
finish with fresh ground black pepper to taste
garnish with hard Italian cheese if desired
Either blend the well drained spinach and chop fine or just blend it with the egg. Get a large mixing bowl add the spinach mixture, all cheeses, spices and flour. Stir till it’s mixed well. To insure the gnudi will come out right. Make a tester gnudi and add it to a pot of boiling water to make sure it will stick together. Also check the flavoring and determine if the spices are correct for you. If the gnudi fell apart that would be because either your cheese wasn’t drained enough and or your spinach wasn’t drained enough. If it’s only slightly off you can fix it by adding more flour 1/4 cup and testing again.
Get baking sheets and line them with a thin layer of semolina flour. Fill a pastry bag with gnudi dough and make like your filling raviolis.
No sprinkle the tops with more semolina flour.
Cover the Gnudi with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator over night.
The next day just slow boil them a portion at a time until they float. Eat and enjoy.
These came out really amazing. My husband said that this dish would definitely be on his last meal list along with my fresh ricotta gnocchi.
Home Made Ricotta Cheese is easy to make and taste better than store purchased ricotta cheese. There is no comparison. Below is the recipe for basic ricotta cheese. Once you make it you can play around with the richness and the texture. you might want to use more cream in it for certain things like desserts. This recipe makes around 2 1/2 pounds of Ricotta Cheese.
Ingredients for around 10 servings
1 gallon whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1-11/2 lemons just use the fresh squeezed juice.
Put a large pot with the milk, cream and salt on medium heat. After a while you will need to lower the heat to low so the mixture doesn’t boil over. You need to bring the mixture to a slow boil. This will take a long time but it’s worth it. Let it slow boil like this about five minutes.
Then you want to slowly add the fresh lemon juice until you get curds. Let it stay on the heat for up to five minutes.
It will look like this.
The easiest and fastest way to drain the cheese is to use a wire mesh basket.
The cheese was whey easier to make than you thought! For best results let this chill in your refrigerator over night. You will have up to 2 cups extra than what is needed for this recipe. You either enjoy fresh or you can freeze left over cheese for another time.
A word of caution.
Don’t use manufacture’s cream or boxed heavy cream that doesn’t need refrigeration because they are full of gum and your cheese won’t curdle but will thicken slightly. If you accidentally find that you used a poor quality cream with too much gum you can try to save it by using a colander lined with cheese clothe and let it drain for a day in your refrigerator.
Ingredients for spinach
1 large bunch spinach
1/4 sweet onion sliced very thin and rough chopped
either a quart of vegetable stock or about 5 Tablespoons of vegetable stock paste to add to boiling water.
Now it’s time to prepare the fresh spinach. Whenever possible purchase full grown spinach instead of baby spinach because baby spinach is flavorless. You might want to trim off some of the large stems and then do several rinses on the spinach to make sure you got rid of all the dirt. There are many ways to prepare spinach. You can steam, sauté and boil spinach. I usually don’t boil most vegetables but I prefer spinach to be boiled because this is a low flavor vegetable and you can easily infuse flavor into spinach by boiling it briefly.
After the spinach is clean give it a rough chop.
Now add the spinach, onion and vegetable stock to your sauce pot and bring to boil about three minutes and then drain.
When the spinach is cool enough to handle you need to use your hands and squish the water out. Don’t get excited your not left with much spinach but your left with enough for this recipe.