Gnudi gnudi gnudi, it's a fun word to say and a fun thing to eat. No one seems to know what this delicious little ball of amazingness is but I am going to share it with you. They are little balls similar to gnocchi rolled in semolina and filled with ricotta and parmesan which when boiled create an unusual pasta coating, served with brown sage butter, you cut through the pasta layer and out oozes this cheesy yuminess.
I discovered it having dinner at The Spotted Pig in New York with a friend who took me there on my last week saying I couldn't leave without going. Well he was right we had the the famous Gnudi and it was oh sooo good. I have been thinking about it for a while, trying to work out how to do it when I came across a recipe in The River Cafe Classic Italian Cook Book. It makes sense that they would have a recipe since the head chef at The Spotted Pig is April Bloomfield who trained at the River Cafe before moving to NY.
I made the River Cafe version but as I write this I have just found the real Spotted Pig recipe...damn! Anyway I will try them another time and see which ones are better. So here is the recipe for the ones I made.
1/2 a nutmeg freshly grated
sae salt and fresh ground pepper
500g semolina flour
extra virgin olive oil
3tbsp unsalted butter
10-12 sage leaves
The night before put a strainer over a bowl and lay a clean tea towel over the top and spoon the ricotta in, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge until needed. This takes out the extra moisture in the ricotta.
Spoon the ricotta into a bowl and beat with a fork until it becomes light and fluffy. Grate in the nutmeg and stir, then stir in the parmesan. Season the mixture generously and then put in the fridge for 30 mins.
Put half the semolina onto a flat tray so that it covers the surface. Generously dust the remaining semolina over a large, clean work surface.
Take a large spoonful of the mix and roll into a short sausage about 1.5cm thick then cut into 2 cm pieces. Gently form these pieces into balls, coat them with semolina from the work surface and place on the tray and shake well so that they are almost submerged. Put in the fridge for 24 hours.
For the sage butter, heat a pan to medium heat and melt the butter. Watch it carefully and when it begins to brown and foam add the sage and cook for a moment longer before removing or it will burn.
Cook the gnudi in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 mins or until they rise to the surface. Very important bit is to remove them with a slotted spoon or they just fall apart and turn to mush which I found out the hard way.
Spoon them onto a warmed dish and pour over the sage butter with leaves, and enjoy probably your first gnudi experience.