Sometimes I learn about something and wish that I had known about it sooner in my life. Gnudi (pronounced nudee) fit in that category. I saw Giada Di Laurentis make these on television and decided I had to try them. They are similar to the filling in gnocchi, but really, it tastes like the center ricotta layer in lasagna. So delicious!
And they are easy to make. I adapted them only slightly to be low carb, which meant swapping out the regular wheat flour for low carb flour. I used Dixie Diner’s All Purpose Flour. I expect that coconut flour might work well in this also. I plan to try that the next time I make them. Since coconut flour absorbs more liquid, use only 1/4 cup in the ricotta mixture. If the dough gets too stiff, add a little egg white or water.
Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, not the canned variety that’s been sitting in the cupboard for two months. It’s worth it. This recipe is adapted from one I found at thekitchn.com.
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 cups Whole-milk Ricotta Cheese
1 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1 cups Low Carb All-purpose Flour, divided
1-1/2 cups Marinara or Pasta sauce, store-bought or homemade
Fresh Baby Spinach
Place freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a large bowl then add ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and seasoning salt. Stir together, then add 1/2 cup low carb flour and stir until combined.
Put parchment paper or aluminum foil on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Dust with 1/3 cup flour. Using a 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop or an over-filled tablespoon, scoop out golf-ball sized gnudi and place on the baking sheet. You can shape them into balls with your hands if they aren’t rounded. Repeat until all the dough is used.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the tops of the dough. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for 20 to 30 minutes. The more chilled they are, the better since the low carb flour breaks down in the boiling water more than regular flour.
Fill a large pot with water, add about a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. While waiting, get out the spinach and cut or tear into pieces for garnish. Warm the pasta sauce in a pan.
Use a slotted spoon to lower five or six gnudi into the water, one or two at a time. Try not to get too much extra flour with each one. Boil until the gnudi float and are firm to a light touch, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the water with the slotted spoon and put on a serving bowl or plate. Repeat until all the gnudi are cooked.
Spoon warmed pasta sauce over the top, garnish with additional Parmesan Cheese and the spinach leaves.
If you wish, you can add a couple of meat balls to the plate as I did.
The other way you can serve gnudi is with a melted butter sauce. I heated my day-old gnudi up in the butter, lightly browning them. Melt a stick of butter, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and let the butter get slightly browned. If you wish, you can add 1/2 to 1 cup of baby spinach while you’re stirring the butter. Spoon over the gnudi to serve.
This is great with roast chicken or pork chops as well as the meatballs.
Makes 24 gnudi. I used 4 gnudi per serving.
Leftovers can be put in plastic bags with the air gently pushed out as you seal it, or you can put them in a flat plastic container with a tight lid. They will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.