Gnudi Three Ways

These three recipes for gnudi cooked in three different ways are a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Serve these delicious ricotta dumplings at a weekend dinner party with Wild Rabbit Ragu, Prosciutto and Parmesan, or Watercress & Goats’ Curd.

From the book

Ducksoup Cookbook: The Wisdom of Simple Cooking by
Ducksoup Cookbook: The Wisdom of Simple Cooking
Beautiful recipes from London's Soho restaurant, Ducksoup
A cookbook celebrating the art of simple cooking
Pared back dishes with a focus on flavour

Introduction

These great little ricotta dumplings – not to be confused with gnocchi, which are made using wheat flour and potatoes – are simple to make and take just a few minutes to cook. We can’t recommend making gnudi enough because everyone always loves it. We’ve chosen three of our favourite ways to serve gnudi here, although we are adding new ways with gnudi all the time. If you are having a few friends over, make gnudi!

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the gnudi:
500g ricotta
1 egg yolk
30g ‘00’ flour
30g grated Parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon
2kg semolina flour, for dusting (this seems a lot, but it can be re-used)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Gnudi with Prosciutto & Parmesan:
1 quantity gnudi (see above)
Extra-virgin olive oil
80g grated Parmesan
12 slices prosciutto
Zest of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
For Gnudi with Wild Rabbit Ragu:
1 quantity gnudi (see above)
4 rabbit legs
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 celery sticks, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 head of garlic
200g pancetta, chopped
2 bay leaves
A few rosemary sprigs
500ml white wine
1 litre chicken stock
Parmesan rind, plus Parmesan for grating
A handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Gnudi with Watercress & Goats’ Curd:
1 quantity gnudi (see above)
80g butter
100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Large bunch watercress, thick stalks removed
160g goats’ curd or a good-quality cottage cheese, preferably unpasteurised
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To make the gnudi:

Combine the ricotta, egg yolk, ‘00’ flour and Parmesan together in a bowl, then add the lemon zest and salt and pepper and mix again.

In a large, deep, non-reactive baking tray or plastic container spread out a layer of semolina flour, about 5mm thick.

Roll the gnudi mixture into 10 balls and then place on the semolina flour in a single layer, making sure they do not touch each other.

Once you’ve used up all the mixture completely cover the gnudi with the remaining semolina flour and chill into the fridge for 24 hours.

After 24 hours the semolina will have formed a crust on the gnudi – this helps the dumplings hold their shape.

When you’re ready to cook the gnudi bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, dust off the excess semolina flour (any excess semolina flour can be kept in the fridge and used again) and boil for 3 minutes. Follow one of the three serving suggestions below. 

1. Gnudi, Prosciutto & Parmesan

Cook the gnudi as described above. Remove from the pan and place into a large bowl with a ladleful of the cooking liquid, a good glug of olive oil and half the Parmesan.

Give everything a gentle stir to create a sauce and divide the gnudi equally between four plates. Spoon over the sauce and then lay the prosciutto on and around the gnudi in waves.

To serve, finish with the remaining Parmesan, a twist of black pepper and a little lemon zest.

2. Gnudi & Wild Rabbit Ragu

Preheat the oven to 160°C /gas 3.

Place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Rub the rabbit legs with oil and season with salt and pepper, then brown for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the frying pan and put into a large roasting tray. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and fry the vegetables, garlic, pancetta and herbs for 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Pour in the wine and reduce for 2 minutes.

Then add the stock and Parmesan rind and bring to the boil.

Once the liquid has come to the boil, pour over the rabbit legs, cover the tray tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 1½ hours, after which time the rabbit will be cooked and should fall off the bone.

Remove the rabbit legs from the tray and set aside to cool slightly.

Pour the remaining sauce into a clean pan and place over a low heat.

Put another pan of salted water on to boil for the gnudi. When the rabbit is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones in good-sized chunks and add to the sauce along with the parsley.

Cook the gnudi in boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove from the pan and add to the ragu. Give the pan a gentle shake to combine and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Divide the gnudi between four large bowls, ladle over any remaining ragu and finish with some grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

3. Gnudi, Watercress & Goats’ Curd

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnudi as described above, reserving some of the cooking liquid as you’ll need it for your sauce.

Heat the butter and olive oil together in a large pan until the butter begins to foam. Add the watercress and couple a small ladles of the gnudi cooking water and stir gently. As soon as the watercress starts to wilt, add the goats’ curd or cottage cheese and give it another stir (you may need to add a little more of the gnudi water to thin the sauce slightly).

Drain the gnudi and add to the sauce. Give everything a gentle stir, being careful not to break the gnudi. Divide the gnudi and sauce between four bowls and finish each bowl with a grating of lemon zest, a good drizzle of olive oil and a few twists of black pepper.

See more recipes »

More Pasta Recipes

See more recipes »

More Italian Recipes

See more recipes »

More Recipes from Ducksoup Cookbook: The Wisdom of Simple Cooking