RECIPES:
Dec 15, 2021

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
These easy and spinach packed gnudi are tossed in a light lemon butter sauce.

jump toRECIPE

Gnudi or nudi translates to “naked” in Italian. These pillowy dumplings loosely related to gnocchi are basically ravioli filling without the pasta. They’re made simply with spinach and ricotta held together with eggs and a bit of flour. I serve them in a simple butter sauce topped with fresh herbs and lemon. 

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Key ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Spinach – I blanch the spinach first so it retains its bright green color and reduces in size before it’s added to the gnudi dough. Be sure to fully drain the spinach. Any excess water can water down the dough and make it gummy. Frozen spinach can also be used, just skip the boiling process, then thaw and fully drain it before adding to the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Ricotta – Ricotta is a mild, soft and creamy Italian cheese that is made from the leftover whey created when making mozzarella and other similar cheeses. The texture and look is similar to cottage cheese. I always choose whole milk ricotta over part-skim because the latter can be watery. I recommend draining the ricotta before use. 
  • Eggs – The egg yolks are used as a binder in the gnudi dough. It helps add just enough moisture to hold the dough together before it’s cooked. 
  • Butter – The butter is cooked until the foam subsides but before it browns, The simple butter sauce is finished with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the dish. 
Naked pillowy dumplings

How to Make Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

  1. Blanch spinach. Bring a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch until bright green and reduced in size, about 1 minute.
  2. Drain spinach. Remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach then squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
  3. Blend dough. In the bowl of a food processor (fitted with a blade attachment) add the spinach, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan and nutmeg. Pulse until well combined. Slowly add the flour in batches, blending after each, until a dough forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Shape dough. On a clean, lightly floured workspace turn gnudi dough out and shape into a rectangle.
  5. Scoop and roll dough. Next, use a tablespoon to measure rounded scoops (about 20g each). Dust with a bit of flour and roll into even balls. Then set aside on a floured baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. You should end up with about 30 gnudi.
  6. Boil gnudi. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the gnudi and boil until tender and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or drain and set aside.
  7. Make butter sauce. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the foam subsides, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  8. Assemble and serve. Add the gnudi to the pan and gently turn to coat in the butter sauce. Divide among warmed plates and top with chopped herbs. Serve immediately.
Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi Recipe

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop the blanched spinach and mix the dough in a large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon.
  • Rather than gently tossing the cooked gnudi in the butter sauce, it can also be removed to a small bowl and drizzled over the plated gnudi. 
  • Rather than serving the gnudi with the butter sauce it can be swapped with your favorite pasta sauce like a simple marinara or cream sauce.  This also pairs well with a sage butter sauce.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this gnudi recipe, I recommend checking out these:

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Naked pillowy dumplings
Print Pin
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spinach
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for shaping
  • Kosher salt as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch until bright green and reduced in size, about 1 minute.
  • Remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach then squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
  • In the bowl of a food processor (fitted with a blade attachment) add the spinach, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan and nutmeg. Pulse until well combined. Slowly add the flour in batches, blending after each, until a dough forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  • On a clean, lightly floured workspace turn gnudi dough out and shape into a rectangle.
  • Use a tablespoon to measure rounded scoops (about 20g each). Dust with a bit of flour and roll into even balls. Set aside on a floured baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. You should end up with about 30 gnudi.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the gnudi and boil until tender and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Continue to cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the foam subsides, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Add the gnudi to the pan and gently turn to coat in the butter sauce. Divide among warmed plates and top with chopped herbs. Serve immediately.

DID YOU MAKE THIS?

TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings

Rate + Review

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating