Ricotta Gnudi in Tomato Sauce

These easy-to-make ricotta dumplings are light and pillowy. Gnudi means naked in Italian. The dumplings are "naked" because they are like the filling you find in a ravioli but without the "dressing" of pasta.


Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 (680 ml) jar puréed tomatoes (passata)
Handful fresh basil leaves

Ricotta Gnudi
3 eggs
1 pound tub ricotta
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan
Salt, to taste
Pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
1 1/2 cups flour
Semolina or flour, as needed
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for finishing
Drizzle of olive oil, for finishing (optional)


Tomato Sauce
Add olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and cook until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add puréed tomatoes. (If using a shallow pan, cover with lid to reduce splatter.) Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer sauce for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in basil leaves.

Ricotta Gnudi
Bring large pot of salted water to gentle boil.

Beat eggs with hand mixer. Add ricotta, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and nutmeg. Mix. Stir in flour, just until smooth. To test consistency of dough, shape one gnudi and drop into boiling water. If it doesn’t hold its shape, add more flour to the dough.

Using 2 spoons, shape gnudi into quenelles (football shape) or roll into a ball with your hands, about the size of a golf ball. Transfer to baking tray and lightly toss with semolina or flour so they don’t stick.

Drop into simmering water. When gnudi start to float, cook another 1 minute. Total cook time is about 3 minutes.

With slotted spoon, transfer gnudi to tomato sauce. Toss to combine. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve 3 to 4 gnudi per serving for an appetizer and 6 to 8 per serving for a main.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.