Updated: Mar 5
Ricotta gnudi are little pillows of heaven, soft, fluffy and delicious. If I ever see them on a menu, I have to get them. It is a dish that is extremely hard to make, to get the perfect balance of cheese and flour and to get them to be fluffy and melt in your mouth.
I love this recipe because the gnudi are not fried, but served in a flavorful nage. What is a nage? I had to look it up and it is a type of vegetable stock, Click here for more on nage.
This dish is packed with subtle flavours from the nage and the soft and tender gnudi. A trick I learned from a chef is not to work the gnudi much, as little as possible is best.
I love this cookbook and every recipe in it. This restaurant in Whistler is so on my bucket list. For more recipes from this cookbook click here.
For the gnudi:
2 lb whole milk ricotta, or buffalo ricotta
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups + 3 tablespoons Italian '00' flour
3/4 cup nage (Recipe follows)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons mint
For the vegetable nage:
8 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
8 shallots, roughly sliced
5 carrots, roughly sliced
4 celery stalks, roughly sliced
2 onions, roughly sliced
1 fennel bulb, roughly sliced
2 star anise
3 bay leaves
8 coriander seeds
8 1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine
Salt to taste
To make the gnudi:
In a bowl mix together the ricotta, oil, flour, salt and egg to form a smooth dough. Please do not work the dough too much, this is the secret to soft and fluffy gnudi. As soon as it comes together in a ball wrap it in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the nage.
Remove the ball and divide to four pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a strand about 1/2 inch in diameter. Again do this as quickly as possible without overworking the dough. Cut into 1-inch pieces, and add to a floured baking tray. Finish all the dough in a similar manner. Cover tightly and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the nage in a pot and bring to a simmer. When you put the gnudi into the boiling water add the peas to the nage to blanch briefly. Keep at a low simmer.
After about 20 minutes bring a pot of salted water to boil. At 30 minutes add the gundi to the boiling water, you may have to do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. Stir once to make sure the gnudi are not stuck to the bottom and boil for 2-4 minutes. When cooked to gnudi will float to the top. Take them out as soon as they float, this also keeps them soft.
To make the nage:
Add all the vegetables and spices (except wine) to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the wine. Allow to cool and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Taste and adjust for salt. Set aside.
Spoon the gnudi into a bowl. Top with about 3/4 cup of the nage and peas. Serve immediately with ricotta salata at the table.