Girly Food [gnudi]

We’re getting closer and closer to the 14th of February, which qualifies as the girliest day of the year.  And it’s only fitting to eat accordingly.  You can start with these ricotta gnudi.  Gnudi means naked in Italian.  These are little naked ravioli–the cheese filling without the noodle shell.  They’re cute and light little dumplings that can be dressed up with any number of sauces.  Here’s how to make ’em.

First, put a pot of water on to boil.

Now let me introduce you to Rao’s.

This is the best bottled sauce you’ll ever meet.  Check the ingredients list if you don’t believe me.

It comes from Rao’s, a restaurant in New York that you won’t get into unless you’re Billy Joel or a mob boss.  So this sauce is the best we unknowns can hope for.  It’s expensive, but it goes on sale and you can stock up then.  It’s a true time-saver, as it tastes exactly like homemade.

You can heat it up first, or just spoon some into a shallow bowl (or serving dish if you like to eat family-style).

Next, stir the following into a medium bowl:

  • 2 1/2 C whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (I only used the egg when I made half the recipe)
  • 2 oz chopped prosciutto
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg (I used a dash of dried)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Once the water has begun to boil, mix 1/2 C plus 2 T flour in with the ricotta mixture.  If you added the flour before the water was ready your mixture would become gummy and gross.

Put 1 C of flour in a bowl for dredging.

Using two spoons, shape the gnudi mixture into little dumplings.  Dredge them in flour and tap off the excess.  Drop them carefully in the water, and watch for splashes!

When the gnudi float to the top (about 4 minutes), they’re ready.

See, they’re skinny dipping!

Use a spider to skim them out, and place them in the bowl.  Serve with tons of grated cheese on top and feed them to someone you love.

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