These little gems are called ricotta spinach gnocchi, or ravioli gnudi as they resemble the filling often used to stuff ravioli. This recipe was adapted from Davina Cucina’s (otherwise known as Judy Witts Francini) new cookbook called Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen. The changes I made to the recipe create gnocchi that are similar to ones I have personally made for years. I decreased the amount of spinach, allowing the ricotta to be the star, added extra parmesan cheese, and I decreased the eggs from three to two. Judy suggests topping these delicate pillows with butter and cheese, or a walnut sauce. I personally prefer a fresh tasting tomato sauce so topped my gnocchi with my quick tomato sauce.
As with all gnocchi or dumplings, the less you handle them the more delicate and tender they will be but you do need to use your hands to form these gnocchi to develop a touch for the right consistency. Another important trick to making perfect gnocchi is the drain your spinach extremely well. I press the cooked spinach in a sieve, chop it finely, and the drain it once more. If your ricotta is wet you might drain it also by placing it in a sieve over a bowl and setting it in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Judy also suggests that you always test with a single ravioli to make certain they don’t fall apart in the boiling water, which is a great tip for anyone who is new to making ravioli gnudi or gnocchi. These dumplings are best cooked immediately as you shape them, but you can mix the ingredients together and refrigerate them until needed.
Deborah Mele 2011
Ravioli Gnudi With Quick Tomato Sauce
Named ravioli gnudi, these tasty, tender pillows are really ricotta and spinach gnocchi.
- 1 (9 Ounce Bag) Baby Spinach
- 12 Ounces Full Fat Ricotta
- 2 Eggs
- 1-1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour (Plus Additional For Shaping)
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
For The Tomato Sauce:
- 1 (28 Ounce) Can Imported Diced Italian Tomatoes (Or 1 (26.5 Ounce) Box Pomi Brand Chopped Tomatoes)
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Decrease To 1 Tablespoon If Wanting To Make A Lower Fat Version)
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Basil
- Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, and add the garlic.
- As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, but before it takes on color, add the tomatoes.
- Turn the heat to high, and as soon as the sauce begins to bubble, turn back down to medium low.
- Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes if you are using them, and add the basil.
- Cook for another minute of two and keep warm while you make the gnocchi.
- To make the gnocchi, first cook spinach by steaming or in the microwave.
- Drain and squeeze out all excess water.
- Chop finely, and then drain once more.
- Place the spinach, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and flour into a mixing bowl, and mix together well.
- Bring to boil large pot of salted water. Lower to simmer.
- Form the dumplings by using floured hands, lightly rolling the gnocchi to coat with a little flour.
- Drop into boiling water.
- When the dumplings float to the top, they are done.
- Remove with slotted spoon or ladle and return to the pot.
- Toss gently with the tomato sauce, and serve with parmesan cheese.