Serves 4 to 6
The ricotta should be quite dry to start here. I wouldn’t use a commercial grocery-store brand. Seek out fresh whole-milk ricotta from a smaller purveyor or an Italian market. (You can also try making your own. It’s easy, I promise!) If the ricotta you buy is still a little wet, drain it overnight in the refrigerator in a cheesecloth-lined strainer. If it is very dry, then you can skip this step.
Here I give you a sage-butter sauce to dress the gnudi, an easy and delicious sauce that you can use with many different pasta dishes. I also often dress gnudi with butter and a small amount of tomato sauce; if you do this, make sure you don’t overdo the tomato sauce.
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds fresh ricotta, drained overnight if needed (see headnote)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- Kosher salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the gnudi. Choose a heatproof serving bowl that will fit inside the pot. Set the bowl aside for now.
For the gnudi, combine the ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Stir in the grated cheese and parsley. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Stir until smooth. Add the bread crumbs and flour. Mix until the mixture is blended and pulls off the sides of the bowl, and holds its shape if rolled into a ball. If the dough doesn’t hold its shape, add a tablespoon more of bread crumbs, and mix again until it does. (Try not to overmix, though.)
Spread some more flour in a wide, shallow dish. With floured hands, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. I would suggest you test one or two of the first gnudi you make, plopping them into the boiling water and letting them float to the top. If they remain whole, you are good to go; if not, you need some more flour in the dough. Continue with the remaining mixture- you should get about twenty-four balls- and set them on a sheet pan lined with a clean, floured kitchen towel.
Active Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes