This isn’t the typical potato gnocchi but it is a lighter version made with ricotta, known as gnudi.
Simple Homemade Gnudi Recipe
3/4 cup flour
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. ricotta cheese – I like to use creamy ricotta
Mix all of the ingredients together. The dough should be slightly sticky but you need to be able to handle it. Add more flour about a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Put in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Separate the dough into quarters to make it easier to work with. Pinch off a piece and roll into balls about 3/4 inch in size or so. You may need to use some flour on your hands to keep the balls from sticking.
Some people prefer to make these in the same way that traditional gnocchi is made. In this case, roll each quarter of the dough into a snake. Cut those strips of dough into 1 inch long pieces.
Pro Tip: you can freeze some of the gnudi for future use. I like to lay it on a tray or some other flat surface and freeze it until it’s solid enough to place into freezer bags.
To cook it, bring water with a touch of salt in it to a boil and add the gnudi. The gnudi should begin to float on the surface of the water. When they do, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes and they should be done!
An alternative to boiling is to pan fry the gnudi. This gives them a golden outer “crust” with the soft interior.
Suggested sauce for the gnudi: Spinach Pesto
Of course you can top the gnudi with your favorite pasta sauce, but here’s an option that I really like.
In a blender, process 1 cup spinach leaves (I prefer baby spinach for this) until chopped up and then pulse in: 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and 3 tsp. basil. Blend in 1/4 cup olive oil until smooth and creamy. This can be frozen or it will keep in the fridge for about a week.
Other favorite options – melted butter, lemon juice, black pepper, and Parmesan; brown butter and fresh sage leaves; olive oil, black pepper, and fresh basil leaves