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Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano cheese

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano cheese.jpg

From Icons of European Taste Grand Ambassador Emily Fedner, these pillowy dumplings are like ravioli without the pasta (gnudi, or nudi, means “naked” in Italian). 

Ingredients

Gnudi:

2.5 cups ricotta, drained

 20 oz spinach

   1 cup Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

       Up to ½ cup flour

    1 egg

    1 tsp allspice

       Several sprigs thyme

        Salt + pepper to taste

 

To serve:

1 stick butter

   Several sprigs thyme

   Grana Padano cheese

    Prosciutto di San Daniele

    Salt + pepper to taste

Directions

Strain the ricotta by adding it to a colander lined with a paper towel or cheese cloth. Either do this over a large bowl or in the sink. Half an hour should be sufficient for enough moisture to drain from the ricotta which is the key to making great gnudi!

 

Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and dunk immediately in the ice water. This process is called “blanching” and it cooks the spinach while preserving its bright green color/quality.

 

Squeeze as much moisture from the spinach as you can (again - this is key!!!).

Finely chop the spinach and add to a large bowl along with the strained ricotta, Grana Padano cheese, flour, egg, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper. Stir. The resulting batter should be thick, not runny. If things are feeling loose/runny, add more flour.

 

Set up a workstation with your bowl of batter, a floured sheet pan, and a small bowl of water. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of batter from the bowl and use your hands to roll it into a ball.  Pro tip: wetting your hands makes this process easier/less sticky. Place the ball on the floured sheet pan and repeat until all the batter is done, wetting your hands as necessary in between balls. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnudi for 3-4 minutes or until they float.

 

Meanwhile, add butter to a skillet on medium heat. Cook until it foams over then browns. Cut the heat and add several sprigs of thyme. Salt to taste.

 

Plate the gnudi. Top with brown butter and freshly-grated Grana Padano cheese. Drape with Prosciutto di San Daniele.