Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

In honor of my upcoming trip to Italy, I'm sharing one of my new favorite Italian recipes- Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi. What is gnudi, you ask? Well, it's naked ravioli! Imagine ravioli without the pasta, and that's gnudi (pronounced "nudie"). Ricotta and parmesan cheese combine with spinach and herbs to make a delectable, creamy bite atop a fresh tomato-basil sauce. Served with a big salad and crusty bread, this is a fantastic Italian meal. Don't forget the chianti!

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi
Ravioli "undressed" this creamy, cheesy baked Italian dish is delicious!
Serves 4

1 large bunch raw spinach, washed, dried, trimmed and chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for smearing hands
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
All-purpose flour, if needed
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Saute the spinach with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 the quantity of the garlic for a few minutes until soft. Let cool. Then in a bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, Parmigiano and salt to taste. Add a small amount of flour, a little at a time, only if ricotta if filled with too much moisture. Combine the mixture thoroughly and set aside.
In the same saucepan, heat up the remaining olive oil, then add the remaining garlic, cherry tomatoes and basil and cook for 5-10 minutes. Spoon the sauce into a baking dish. 
Smear some olive oil on your hands. Scoop ricotta mixture, in the amount of an egg , onto the palm of your hands and form into a compact ball.  Add the "gnudi" balls on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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