Gnudi very roughly translates to “naked” in Italian and is basically thought to be the naked filling of ravioli — without the pasta that surrounds it. Unlike gnocchi, which can be found in several regions of Italy, you’ll find gnudi primarily in Tuscany.
Gnudi are generally a bit larger than gnocchi and often made with less flour and therefore require an even more delicate hand. They’re traditionally made plain, with just ricotta, and grated cheese.
How to Serve Gnudi
Gnudi are traditionally served in a brown butter and sage sauce, or a simple tomato sauce. Since they’re quite delicate, even after cooking, they’re prone to falling apart if you toss them directly with the sauce. Instead, transfer the dumplings straight from the boiling water to your serving dishes and spoon the warm sauce over them.
Buy the best ricotta you can find. If the ricotta isn’t thick enough, you run the risk of them falling apart as they boil, so you’ll want to seek out the thickest whole-milk ricotta you can find. Italian markets are the best source for this kind of high-quality ricotta
Sprinkle the gnudi generously with flour. The key to creamy gnudi is to use as little flour as possible inside the dumplings. But don’t be shy when it comes to flouring the outside of the gnudi. Shower them in flour before they’re refrigerated, generously dust the baking sheet with flour, and coat the tops of the dumplings with more flour before boiling them. This forms a protective layer around each one, making it easier to drop them into the boiling water and ensure they keep their shape.
- 2 ounces Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup), plus more for serving
- 4 cups ricotta
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Add in a large bowl whole-milk ricotta cheese, salt and grated cheese and mix well. Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and stir until just combined.
- Dust a rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
- Dust the work surface with a little more flour and divide the dough into 4-5 pieces.
- Roll out the dough into long cylinders, about the thickness of your thumb. Cut each length into segments (1 ½ -2 inches), then press each one onto a gnocchi board or fork to give them a ridged texture.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a flat or fish spatula, gently drop half of the gnudi, one or two at a time, into the pot of boiling water, trying your best not to scoop up too much excess flour in the process, though scooping up some is fine.
- Boil until the gnudi float and are firm to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes, using a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the cooked gnudi to individual serving bowls as they do. Repeat with the remaining half of uncooked gnudi.