Simple, scrumptious and veg. What’s not to like about tonight’s dinner?!
I prepped the sauce ahead of time and threw together the gnudi in about half an hour, plus baking, after Monday night kettlebell class. I’ll be enjoying ‘em with a salad on the side for days to come!
These are the most delicious & simple “cloud like” dumplings, similar to gnocchi but lighter as less flour is used. These are served in a pool of tangy tomato sauce and garnished with fresh herbs, but equally delicious baked in brown butter or garlic butter.
Prep: 30 minutes
Baking: 20-25 minutes
Oven temp: 325 degrees
Servings: 4 (approx. 20-30 gnudi, depending on size)
♥PANTRY, FRIDGE, MARKET♥♥
16 oz. ricotta
12 oz. baby spinach = 1/4 C. cooked
10-12 large basil leaves
1 large egg
1/2 C. grated Parmesan and/or Asiago + 1/2 C. extra for garnish
3/4 t. sea salt
few good grinds of black or white pepper
1/2 C. flour + 1/4 C. extra
1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 T. granulated sugar
1 t. sea salt
1/2 C. good quality olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried thyme
TOMATO Sauce: In a medium heavy bottom pot, add olive oil, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for at least one hour and no longer than 2 hours. Add garlic and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
GNUDI mix: Steam spinach until just wilted, pour into a colander and press all the moisture out with the palm of your hand. Place on cutting board with basil leaves and finely chop.
In a medium size bowl, whisk egg and egg yolk. Stir in ricotta, salt, spinach/basil and 1/2 C. Parmesan. Add 1/2 C. flour and stir until the mixture comes together — it should be soft and moist but not wet. If it looks too wet, add a little more flour.
Shape the gnudi into ovals: sprinkle 1/4 C. flour on a baking sheet. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of ricotta mix into the palm of your hand and gently roll into an egg shape then roll in flour. Repeat process until you use all the mix. Chill in fridge until ready to use or proceed:
Ladle tomato sauce into a baking dish, size of dish depending on how many you plan to bake. Sauce should be at least 3/4” deep. NOTE: reserve some of the sauce for serving.
Lay gnudi on top sauce, leaving 1” between each dumpling. Cover lid or foil. Gnudi can be baked right away or refrigerated until later.
♥BAKE - middle rack, 325 degree oven, for approx 20-25 minutes if put in the oven while the sauce is hot or 40-45 minutes if refridgerated.
♥SERVE - spoon a little reserved hot tomato sauce into individual shallow dishes, nap with more tomato sauce (if desired) and dust with Parmesan and/or Asiago.
♥♥ WAYS TO “just wing it” ♥♥ consider or substitute
*consider substituting: kale and spinach, or just kale, and/or other fresh herbs in the ricotta mix
♥ Helpful Hints♥
*tomato sauce can be simmered in a slow cooker: start on high for one hour (or until the sauce is budding), turn to LOW for 2 hours. Add garlic and continue on low for 15 minutes.
*tomato sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for 1week or frozen for 3 months.
*gnudi and can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2 days