Thursday, March 1, 2012

on the greaaaat space coaster

Gnudi (ricotta, hard cheese, egg, and flour) are called gnudi because instead of being gah-notched like gah-nocchi (made with potatoes and flour), they're gah-naked, like ravioli fillings without the wrapper. I've posted about gah-nudi before. They're basically very delicate dumplings. Gnettle gnudi differs only in that cooked minced nettles - you could substitute spinach or any other green - are mixed into the dough, which is then chilled, rolled, cut, and simmered in water. You can stop there, but I much prefer pan-fried gnudi, which are then cooked briefly in butter - that way you have a crispy texture on the outside.

The hardest thing about gnudi is getting the balance of flour and egg right, so that you have enough flour that you can handle the dough and it doesn't fall apart when simmering, but little enough that it's a soft cloud-like dumpling instead of a leaden lump. I used a little too much flour in this batch - unfortunate since without more ricotta, you can't fix that - but not so much as to make it leaden.

The accompanying sauce is simple in execution, complex in flavor. I had gone to the supermarket's olive bar and gotten a large roasted red pepper, a few Peppadews, and a bunch of olives of different types. I pureed the pepper and Peppadews together, added a little smoked olive oil and a dash of nutmeg (traditional accompaniment to greens like the nettles), and then pitted and chopped the olives and folded them in.

Gnettle gnudi

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