Baked Spinach & Ricotta Gnudi
Gnudi – pronounced ‘neudi’ – means ‘nude’, referring to the naked filling of spinach and ricotta ravioli without their pasta clothes. Traditionally they are served in a warm bath of sage-flavoured butter but gnudi are equally good with ragù, tomato sauce or simply baked with tomatoes. The recipe for this gnudi was originally created for The Low Carb Weight-loss Cookbook, although since then the authors have discovered they can be baked so have added tomatoes and basil for a new twist. Frozen spinach is fine to use but do buy whole-leaf and not chopped.
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3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
25g of salted or unsalted butter
15g of parmesan, finely grated
A handful of basil leaves
For the gnudi
300g of cooked & squeezed dry spinach
250g of ricotta
50g of parmesan, grated
50g of mature cheddar, coarsely grated
2 large eggs
60g of coconut flour
½ tsp of finely grated nutmeg
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle the oil into a large ovenproof dish, about 30cm (12in) across.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
To make the gnudi, finely chop the squeezed-dry spinach by hand or pop it into a food processor and briefly blitz it. Then mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well combined. It should form a thick paste; if it is very sticky, add a spoonful of coconut flour to absorb the moisture. Use your hands to roll the mixture into balls about 3cm across and put them into the prepared baking dish.
Scatter the tomatoes around the gnudi and shake the dish so that they roll around in the oil. Fleck the butter over the top, add a little seasoning and then bake for 10 minutes or until warmed through. Add the parmesan and basil leaves and serve straight away.
Recipe courtesy of The Low Carb Italian Kitchen by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books, March 2023, Hardcover £20. Photography by Susan Bell.
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