Spinach is available year round but in this period you find the fall variety characterised by more succulent leaves. Spinach is a good reservoir of minerals and vitamins, as long as it is consumed strictly raw. If you have to cook them as in this recipe, it’s better if you steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients. Now you are all set to prepare this recipe from Tuscany: the Gnudi. This name, in Tuscan dialect, means naked, as they are not covered with dough. The lightness and delicacy of this dish is the strength of the Gnudi, which are best accompanied by a fresh dressing light tomato sauce or butter and sage.
INGREDIENTS for 4-6 servings:
500 g fresh ricotta
250 g fresh leaf spinach
100 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, plus extra to serve
50 g butter
4 sage leaves
Prior to steaming, always wash your spinach. Then cook the spinach in the steamer.
Alternatively, heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, then add the spinach. Stir until the leaves are wilted and soft.
Set aside to cool. Then squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can with your hands.
If the ricotta is watery, put it in a sieve and leave to drain. Put the spinach in a bowl with the drained ricotta, grated parmesan and egg. Add salt to taste and mix well.
Roll the Gnudi between the palms of your hands until you obtain a walnut-size round shape. If they are too sticky, wet your hands before shaping the Gnudi.
On a wide non-stick pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sage leaves. Let them infuse a few minutes, until the butter becomes perfumed but not brown.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. When it is boiling add salt and cook the Gnudi a few at a time (5-8). Once they rise to the surface, let cook for a couple more minutes. Then, transfer them with a slotted spoon to the pan containing the butter and sage leaves.
Turn the heat on and cook for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan slightly to butter carefully the Gnudi.
Serve them immediately, drizzling with parmesan cheese.
Alternatively you can season the Gnudi with fresh tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and fresh cherry tomatoes.
Tips: We recommend pairing this delicate Tuscan dish with a delicate wine that does not contrast the fine flavour of Gnudi such as a Vernaccia di San Gimignano.