With the promise of my new kitchen not too far away, my enthusiasm for both cooking and eating interesting food is back with a vengeance, so look what I found in Good Food – a fantastic recipe for the rather ‘naughty’ sounding Ricotta Gnudi with Sage Butter. These Gnudi (what a great word), are light Italian dumplings, made from some of my favourite ingredients, ricotta, semolina and nutmeg. Look no further for a big bowl of tasty Italian food to dip your chunk of Ciabatta or Sourdough in to mop up all the Sage Butter.
Ricotta Gnudi with Sage Butter Recipe
- 350g good-quality ricotta (we used Galbani)
- 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated, plus some extra to serve
- 1 egg yolk
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 225g fine semolina or semolina flour
- 50g butter
- 16 small sage leaves
- 1 heaped tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- Red onion
- Balsamic dressing
- Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or a new J-cloth and place over a bowl.
- Tip the ricotta into the cloth, gently gather up the ends and secure with an elastic band. Leave the ricotta to drain for 4 hours.
- Transfer the drained ricotta to a clean bowl. Beat in the Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, a good grating of nutmeg then season well with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
- Tip the semolina into a baking dish or large plastic container. Wet your hands, dip them in the semolina and, working quickly, scoop 1 heaped tsp of the ricotta mix into your hands and gently roll into a ball (don't worry if it's not perfect).
- Place the ball in the semolina dish and roll around so that it is totally covered. Pick it up and roll between the palms of your hands to create a smooth ball, then pop back into the semolina. Continue with the rest of the mixture. You should make about 24 balls.
- Once all the balls are formed and are sitting in the semolina, cover loosely with baking parchment (not cling film), put the dish in the fridge and leave to chill for at least 12 hours (although 24 hours is better), so the balls of ricotta form a skin around the outside.
- Just before you cook the gnudi, chop the red onion finely and scatter over a bowl of rocket.
- When ready to serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and lower in half the gnudi. Cook gently for 2-3 mins - they're ready when they float to the top - then scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a sieve. Repeat with the remaining gnudi.
- Slowly melt the butter in a small frying pan. Add the washed sage leaves, making sure they don't overlap. Let them sizzle until crisp - be careful, this can happen suddenly, make sure they don't burn. Transfer the leaves to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- If the butter has turned a nutty brown, remove from the heat. If not, continue to bubble until lightly browned.
- Divide the gnudi between warmed plates, drizzle over the browned butter and top with the sage leaves and pine nuts and serve with grated cheese, black pepper and the rocket and red onion salad, drizzled with a good balsamic dressing.
Well, this is my first recipe posted for some time, but there are loads more to come. I think the excitement of realising that Erik and myself will soon have the makings of a fantastic kitchen to play around in has given me renewed pleasure in cooking not just my old favourite recipes but also experimenting with new tastes, flavours and ingredients, of which there are many.