Sometimes these little dumplings are called “gnudi” in Tuscany, which is a sort of Anglicized Tuscan word to denote “nude” - because unlike traditional gnocchi, they, well, look naked. Ricotta is a by-product of the cheesemaking process (Tuscany makes a lot of cheeses, most famously various sheep’s milk pecorino cheeses), and spinach is considered “Florentine” in many dishes, because Caterina de Medici loved it so much that the French referred to anything with spinach in it as “a la Florentine” in reference to her love of the tasty green.
Gnocchi di ricotta e spinaci
Ingredients to serve 4:
- 1 cup of cooked spinach, drained
- 1 cup of Caputo Brothers Creamery Ricotta
- ¼ cup 00 Flour or All Purpose Flour (**note, use only as much as absolutely necessary to help bind the gnudi)
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Toscano
- grated nutmeg
- 1 stick butter
- 1 bunch sage leaves
- In a mixing bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, scant flour, eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix until combined
- In the meantime, bring a pot of abundant water to a boil and salt it.
- Using a teaspoon of mixture at a time, roll the mixture into balls.
- Cook the balls in the boiling water, done in a few short minutes as they rise to the top
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan on low with the sage leaves, taking care they don’t burn
- Transfer the gnudi to the butter/sage pan and toss well.
- Plate them with some of the butter (and sage, if you like), and sprinkle with Parmigiano and grated nutmeg