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Gnudi Recipe

Gnudi Recipe

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A type of gnocchi, gnudi is traditionally made with ricotta cheese which lends a rich and creamy texture to the dish.


  • 1 pound 2 ounces spinach, coarse stalks removed
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated pecorino, plus extra for serving
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 10-12 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper


Put the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves after washing into a large pan. Cook over low heat, turning once or twice, for about 3 minutes, until wilted. Drain well, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and chop very finely. Tip into a bowl and stir in the ricotta, pecorino cheese, eggs, and flour. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Using a teaspoon, shape small rounded dumplings from the ricotta mixture, dust with flour and add to the pan.

Cook in batches for 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper towel and transfer to warmed serving dish. Melt the butter with sage in another pan, then pour this over the dumplings and serve.

Ricotta Gnudi with Mushroom Walnut Sauce Recipe

You know a food is trendy when you start to see it everywhere – on menus, in cooking magazines, at dinner parties. Sun-dried tomatoes, quinoa, and kale come to mind as foods that have hit the spotlight for their 15 minutes of fame. Well, we think we’ve uncovered the next trend: gnudi.

If you haven’t heard of it, no surprise, we hadn’t either until it showed up for us three times in the past week!

No doubt gnudi has been around forever Wikipedia describes it as “gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato, with semolina. The result is often a lighter, “pillowy” dish, unlike the often denser, chewier gnocchi.” But it’s new to us.

We first saw it in the Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal, where a regular feature “Slow Food Fast” is typically found in the “Off Duty” section. They featured a Ricotta Gnudi that we experimented with. It was so good that we talked about it all through dinner. (Details follow below.)

Then a few days later we headed to Sag Harbor, NY for an extended weekend visit with family friends we met through our daughter’s college experience. They have a beautiful home right in the village with an expansive kitchen.

Daddy – Daughter Cook Off

They are foodies like us, which prompted a cooking competition “Duke Dads vs. Duke Daughters” Italian style. The dads went with the more traditional (but still delicious) Bolognese sauce with a few fancy additions like prosciutto and anchovies, while the daughters took a more experimental path after consulting with a friend who has cooked in a Michelin star restaurant in NYC. More on that in a minute.

Those of us left out of the competition (relievedly so) picked up the slack on the dessert front and searched the recipes on RG to find a light Italian selection – Budino al Cioccolato, sort of a combo between chocolate pudding and molten lava cake.

It was the perfect ending to an exceptional meal because it was light in texture and “just enough” but not overwhelming. Oh, and we also put together a simple Caesar Salad just to cover all the food groups.

Back to the daughters. They had committed to a dish with sage butter and butternut squash as featured ingredients. Not sure how that showed up on the radar screen on a hot August day but, whatever. They also wanted something that was a departure from pasta-and-sauce, to distinguish them in the competition.

So after the above mentioned consultation, they ended up roasting butternut squash with cumin (and maybe cinnamon?), mashing it with ricotta and Parmesan, cooking it by the spoonful for a few minutes in simmering water, then sautéing each in sage butter prepared with fresh sage from the garden and serving over blanched asparagus with a drizzle of the sage butter and topped with crumbled sage.

While they were cooking the squash-ricotta mixture, we commented that it reminded us of a dish we had cooked a few days earlier called “gnudi” and they confirmed that this was what their chef friend had called it.

Hmmm. Small world? Or new foodie trend? Regardless, it was a delicious primi course for our dining extravaganza, followed by the Bolognese and the budino. A great night of home-cooked gourmet fare.

More Gnudi Recipes

Two days after returning from our weekend visit, RG came across yet another gnudi recipe in the current issue of Food Network magazine. OK, so probably a trend that we need to share with our fellow home chefs.

And here’s what is one of the great things about this dish: it is really simple and quick to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. We adapted our recipe from that of Chef Douglass Williams as featured in WSJ and thank him for turning us onto some things we’ve never tried before.

Making the gnudi dough was easy, just ricotta, nutmeg, egg, grated pecorino-romano cheese and a little bit of flour all mixed together and then cooked in simmering water by the dumpling-sized spoonful. Gnudi cook a lot like gnocchi in that you drop them into simmering water (as opposed to a rapid boil) in batches so they don’t clump together and when they float to the top they are done.

These are the “pasta” of the dish and are wonderful in and of themselves, but the real treat in this dish is the mushroom walnut sauce.

Like the gnudi, the sauce isn’t difficult to make. You need to roast the walnut pieces first, which we do in a heavy round-bottomed pan over high heat on the stove, tending to them constantly to ensure they don’t burn.

We use a wooden spoon to keep them moving around but you could also shake the pan to accomplish the same thing, as long as you don’t bounce them out with an aggressive shake. If you prefer, you can also roast them in the oven. Either way, these get set aside while the mushrooms poach.

We are fortunate that we live near the home of the Kennett Square Annual (except for 2020) Mushroom Festival that draws 100,000 mushroom lovers from all over. When we need mushrooms for a dish, we visit the Kennett Square “mushroom lady” at our local farmer’s market and pick up whatever she has on hand.

Maddie favors the maitake variety so we grabbed a pint of those and some oyster mushrooms as well. We chopped these up into bite-size pieces and, in a first for us, poached 2 cups in an equal amount of olive oil for about 10 minutes.

I was nervous this would be too heavy but WOW, it was amazing. The walnuts are added in off heat and set aside while the gnudi are prepared.

The gnudi are plated directly from the pot, removed with a slotted spoon, and then topped with grated cheese, lemon zest, mushroom-walnut sauce, more cheese and zest, and fresh basil. You don’t need much but trust me, every bite is a delicacy.

We served bread on the side so we could capture every drop of the sauce. We cannot recommend this dish highly enough.

So be trendy and try your hand at gnudi. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the winner of the Dad-Daughter competition? The consensus seemed to be that first prize went to the Outsiders for our Budino al Cioccolato. Not sure this was unanimous but hey, we’ll take it.

Ricotta Gnudi with Chanterelles

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, the 1/4 cup of Parmigiano, the egg, butter and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1 cup of the flour over the ricotta mixture and fold it in. Dust the dough lightly with more flour and shape into a ball. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a rope and cut it into 36 pieces. Gently roll the pieces into balls and transfer to a floured baking sheet.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup of the oil. Add the chanterelles, season with salt and cook over high heat until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and stir over low heat for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of water and the butter, raise the heat to moderate and stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, boil the gnudi until tender and cooked through, about 6 minutes drain. Add the gnudi to the skillet and stir gently to coat with the sauce. Cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Spoon the gnudi and sauce into bowls. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound fresh spinach, large stems removed, washed well
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (about 6 ounces), preferably fresh, drained for 30 minutes in a fine sieve
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Semolina, for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 to 10 leaves coarsely chopped fresh sage, plus about 8 whole leaves

Fit a large pot with a steamer insert. Add enough water to come about 3 inches below bottom of insert, and bring to a simmer. Add spinach, cover, and steam until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly. Press to remove liquid. Roll spinach in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Transfer to a food processor, and puree until smooth (you should have 1 scant cup).

Stir together spinach puree, cheeses, salt, pepper, egg yolks, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl.

Mound remaining 1/2 cup flour on a cutting board. Using floured hands, gently shape 1 tablespoon spinach mixture into a small log. Drop it into the flour, and quickly roll to coat lightly. Transfer to a baking sheet that's lightly dusted with semolina. Repeat. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour or until ready to cook (up to overnight).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half the gnudi, and stir gently to prevent them from sticking together. Cook until gnudi rise to, and remain on, surface, about 7 minutes. Repeat with remaining gnudi.

Meanwhile, warm 4 plates. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until dark golden brown. Stir in chopped sage and the sage leaves. Add a little gnudi cooking water to the sauce to loosen.

Use a slotted spoon to remove gnudi, shaking off excess water, and transfer to plates. Drizzle with sage butter and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

Divide the Gnudi dough into 20 parts, the roll in the flour shaping them into balls. Now, boil the dumplings into boiling water salted with 4.5 tbsp of coarse salt. Cook a couple of minutes then raise with a slotted spoon and season with the butter and sage. Be careful because the Gnudi are very delicate.

How to make homemade gnudi:

  1. Press the moisture out of the ricotta. See notes for detailed instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon, mix together the egg yolks and the drained ricotta cheese.
  3. Sprinkle in the salt and the flour.
  4. Using gentle folds, incorporate the flour and salt into the ricotta and egg mixture.
  5. Do not overwork the dough. It will be sticky. Extra flour can be used as you roll out the gnudi.
  6. Continue on to rolling or piping out the gnudi.

You have 2 options for forming the gnudi dumplings. You can roll them by hand or use a piping bag to make your portions. The choice is up to you and everyone has their own preference. I like the piping bag fitted with a coupler or really large open round tip because it is cleaner for me. But I am pretty sure hand-formed gnudi is more traditional.

How to hand roll gnudi:

  1. Gather the dough and with floured hands on a floured surface, gently roll the dough into a log about 12 inches in length.
  2. Using a knife, divide the dough in half lengthwise and then slice each half in half again. You will now have 4 long 1/4 logs.
  3. Using a quick chopping motion, slice each log into spite sized pieces, about an inch in length.
  4. Flour your hands and the pieces of dough again to roll them into little dumplings.

How to pipe out gnudi dumplings:

  1. Fit a piping bag with a wide open, round tip or just the coupler in the bottom of the bag.
  2. Dust a cookie sheet or surface with flour.
  3. Pipe the mixture out in 1 inch dollops of dough. For larger dumplings press harder and longer to make a golf ball sized dumpling.
  4. Dust your hands with more flour and sprinkle the dollops with more flour.
  5. Pick up each gnudi and form it gently in your hand. I found that shaking them in your hand as if you were shaking dice works well. Just be sure to do one at a time and flour your hand frequently.
  6. Place on a well-floured cookie sheet until ready to boil.

The ricotta

Gnudi, in fact, should be all about the ricotta, that mildest of cheeses whose sweet, milky flavour is so easily lost underneath other, more assertive ingredients. Bloomfield encourages readers to seek out sheep’s milk ricotta: “I like the gentle acidity it has. But as long as you use really moist, soft, creamy ricotta, you can get away with using one made with cow’s milk”. The Cannas and the River Cafe are also fans, but having ordered some online, I find I prefer the creamier flavour of the fresh cow’s milk ricotta, though the dryer consistency of this particular sheep’s milk cheese does have something to recommend it.

Henry warns against the UHT versions commonly found in supermarkets, which tend to be wetter and also rather bland: I’d strongly advocate seeking out some good stuff for this, because it’s the main attraction (Italian delis will often stock it, and it’s easily found online). It’s vital to leave the cheese to drain for at least half an hour before use – though if you can’t fit it in the fridge for this part of the process, I’d recommend chilling the mixture before shaping as per the River Cafe recipe: the firmer, the better for rolling.

Stevie Parle’s gnudi. Photograph: Felicity Cloake/The Guardian

Spinach Gnudi

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  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for coating
  • 1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, or homemade Pomodoro
  • Basil, for topping, optional



Tried this recipe? Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Gnudi are delectable dumplings with a funny name – they’re essentially “naked” cheese ravioli. The texture is similar to an extra-pillowy gnocchi, and it’s wonderful served up with a classic pomodoro. It’s a regional Tuscan specialty that I just love – it’s a great vegetarian dish to serve up for something different.

I recommend a dryer ricotta cheese, such as Galbani, to ensure the gnudi hold together well. If using a wetter ricotta, drain out some of the liquid first!


Beautifully delicate gnudi and deeply mushroom-y rich sauce. I actually thought the prosciutto was a bit of a distraction (as much as I love prosciutto) and may omit it next time. I followed other reviewers' advice and formed the gnudi by making snakes and cutting them into small sections--so much faster than forming them individually! I also reduced the broth more than called for because I prefer a thicker sauce. My gnudi were perfectly tender after 5 minutes--so keep an eye on yours to avoid overcooking the fragile little things.

The gnudi were light and puffy with a delicate flavor. So delicate that we felt that the mushrooms completely overpowered them. I used a mix of shitake, oyster and baby bellas. The prosciutto transforms the dish, and is esssential. I will make this again, because I love the idea of this dish but so far I'm thinking the gnudi would be better with a simple, light sauce.

Absolutely DELISH. A bit labor intensive making the Gnudi but I would make this ahead of time (with an extra pair of hands if possible, my daughter loved making it with me) because it only gets better! I used strictly cremini mushrooms and I used an entire quart of organic free range chicken broth and let the bits just love each other to perfection! I was a little scared the delicate gnudi would fall apart in the water, but to my delight they puffed up like the perfect darlings they are. and I scooped them out with a ladle right into the mushroom sauce and watched magic happen. My family flipped out. I will make this again, and again, and again!

Turned out perfectly! Next time I would make the gnudi a bit smaller as they do puff up a bit. When they float they are done, take out with slotted spoon. I found it easier to roll into small balls then smashed slightly with fork to get nice lines across the gnudi. Do not overwork the dough!

I used veg broth instead of chicken broth, substituted Morningstar "bacon" for the proscuitto, didn't add truffle oil and didn't add so much butter. It was tasty and flavorful. I was hoping it may be elegant enough for a dinner party, but the gnudi were a bit sloppy in the sauce. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as the picture. Good flavors. I froze half the gnudi (individually on a sheet first and then I'll bag them). Hopefully, it will be a good quick dinner someday.

This recipe was enjoyed by all at our house. The crumbled prosciutto and sage on top make it a four star recipe. I did follow the recipe with a couple small modifications: I added a little bit of cream instead of the chilled butter to the mushroom sauce at the end, and also added 1/2 cup white wine to the sauce at first, so I decreased the broth by the same amount. It was labor intensive, as I didn't do anything ahead of time next time I will.

Excellent! A lot of work to make it, but well worth the effort!

Oh my! This was the perfect cool winter night, lets be decadent and snuggle up dinner. I was a bit skeptical about the gnudi. gnocchi typically isnt my favorite but I do love cheesey gooeyness and this seemed like a nice compromise and oh boy was it. I had to make a few changes. My apologies to the purists. First of all this recipe is HUGE for two people. 2/3 of it is in my freezer. I made the gnudi exactly as stated and they came out superb. Not sure where I read about it but someone else mentioned doing a nice pan sear rather than boiling the gnudi so they would get a nice crunchy carmelized crust. I forgot all about that until I was 3 bites in and had that same thought. Thank goodness I have the extra so that will be the next rendition. The sauce was tweaked a bit. It's nearly impossible to find sage in my world but I did find rosemary and thyme. I love rosemary anyway so maybe it was for the best. I only had one itty bitty shallot so I added a half of elephant garlic clove. No pancetta but I did have bacon. No chicken broth either but I had a beautiful mushroom broth. I cut down on the butter and added some mascarpone, parm and a hint of whipping cream for the ultimate splurge. Note: if you follow any of my tweaks DO NOT add salt. the reduction of the broth with the parm was plenty flavorful enough. To turn this into a meal we threw in some grilled mahimahi and scallops. Cant wait to make this for my pro chef friends for one of our Friday night cook offs.

Help! Iɽ like to make a really knock-your-socks-off dinner for a date and I brought back preserved black winter truffles from France recently that Iɽ like to incorporate into a recipe. This recipe seems like a fairly good match, but what else can I serve with this dish? I'm still a novice cook and in the "experimentation" stage of what dishes go well with others. Iɽ like to serve this as a second course in a 3 course meal, so I need ideas for a really light appetizer and a not-so-rich 3rd course to go with the gnudi. Can you guys help me out? Iɽ really appreciate it. Thanks :)

Made this with tempeh bacon instead of prosciutto & veg stock instead of chicken. The gnudi were perfect.

perfect. my company enjoyed it very much that my sister in law wanted to spend few hours with me so she could learn how to do it exactly the way I did. Well I actually just simply followed the recipe.

Astounding taste and texture. Flavors are amazing. I used basil, and it's even better.Also substituted lower-fat ricotta--delicious and just as creamy.A++++++ recipe!

This dish was great. Potato gnocchi are almost impossible to make well (for me) but these are much more fool proof. The sage is a great touch.

they freeze just fine. Instead of broth I poured boiling water on some dry porchini and let it cool, then used the porcini with the rest of the oister mushrooms and used the porchini water insted of the broth. Then poured some cream in the souce. It was great. Will do it again and again.

Has anyone tried freezing the gnudi? Iɽ like to be able to make this ahead.

i substituted button mushrooms and used spiral sliced ham and it turned out to have way too much liquid!! almost like soup. the gnudi were delicious however. i tried reducing the broth beforehand and its a great idea to remove the mushrooms when you reduce the liquid. are wild mushrooms dry? what else did i do wrong? how about using bacon?.

this was a delicious alternative to gnocchi - light and really fluffy. I made the little logs of gnudi fairly small (approx 1" by 1/2") as they puff up to almost twice the size when cooked. The mushrooms and the sauce is really rich and flavorful with the butter and truffle oil. Everybody raved about it at my dinner party. It's good as a small portion as an appetizer or as a main. My only note is that there seems to be a lot more gnudi and not quite enough sauce to cover it all, so I used the leftover gnudi the next night and made a new sauce.

I expected to love this, but it was disappointing. The gnudi were much denser than I thought theyɽ be, and the sauce was average, nothing special. I think the mushrooms could have used some garlic, too.

I had not heard of gnudi,but tried this recipe and we loved it! I tried it with ricotta that I had made myself as well as restaurant quality ricotta. While I think the homemade ricotta makes for a fluffier gnudi, they both worked great. For the sauce, I used pancetta instead of prosciutto as that's what I had on hand. I did not have truffle oil, but will try it the next time. I also made a pesto/cream sauce and offered the gnudi with either sauce. Everyone really liked the options and are clamoring for me to make more gnudi soon.

I think I made the mistake of overworking the dough so the gnudi weren't as fluffy as I had hoped, but this may have been my fault. The only time consuming part was the actual forming of the gnudi - next time around, I'll follow other reviewers' advice and make ropes that I cut. Otherwise, not that much work for the result. I do also like the idea of adding a touch of sherry vinegar, which I will try next time. The dish was delicious as is though and went over well with my guests at a recent dinner party. The crumbled prosciutto on top is a must - be generous with it!

The gnudi themselves are immaculate -- the soft cheese and toothsome dumpling work together perfectly. I think not overmixing the dough is important, since it makes for a more inconsistent, exciting dumpling texture. The sauce is good, though a splash of vinegar -- we used sherry, not more than half a teaspoon -- brightened up the flavors. The sage leaves and the pecorino are vital to the final dish. Great!

I served this with slow roasted veal shanks. Delish.

Ricotta gnudi were excellent. Very light. When I was making them they seemed like they would fall apart in the water, but they held up well. I didn't love the sauce. We liked it better with marinara sauce. They were oddly shaped, but we didn't mind.

Haven't made it yet (we're still in the dough-resting stage) but I have a quick question: Epicurious describes this as a first course, and my meat-and-starch fiance wants something additional. What dishes/sides do you serve it with? We're making a simple veal scallopine to serve alongside, and I'm curious as to what others are doing.

ok. so gnudi are just ricotta gnochi, which I love. I had high hopes for the sauce but found it a little richer than expected. I little too savory. Maybe a little less oil and less sage would be in order, but I'm not sure without experimenting. The crispy sage and cripsy prosciutto made the dish, IMHO. Mixed reviews from my guests.. Some picked at it and ate the gnochi. some picked at it and ate the mushroooms. Some ate it all.


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