Cheat’s ricotta gnudi with asparagus and crumbs
- May 2016
- Serves 4 as a starter
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus chilling
Wow your guests with this easy gnocchi-like dumpling recipe. Made with light ricotta instead of potato; gnudi is the perfect spring starter.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 47.5g (27.3g saturated)
- 37.5g (5.6g sugars)
- 250g asparagus, cut into thirds
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, bashed
- Grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- Handful fresh oregano, chopped
For the gnudi
- 500g good quality ricotta
- 75g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
- ½ whole nutmeg, freshly grated
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 100g plain flour
For the crumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 75g dried breadcrumbs
- To make the gnudi, lay 5 kitchen paper squares roughly on top of each other, then dollop the ricotta onto them. Top with another 5 squares, then press the ricotta very firmly into a thin disc to extract the moisture. Remove the paper (it should come away cleanly), then scoop the ricotta into a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining gnudi ingredients with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil and set a large sieve over a mixing bowl next to the hob. Remove the gnudi mixture from the fridge and, using 2 teaspoons, shape the mixture into rough rugby ball shapes. Drop them into the water as you go – they’ll sink for a few minutes. Once they bob up to the surface, scoop them up with a slotted spoon and put in the sieve. Continue until all the mixture is used up.
- Meanwhile, make the crumbs: heat the oil in a small frying pan, then fry the breadcrumbs for 5-8 minutes until golden.
- Steam the asparagus pieces for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it sizzles, carefully tip in the gnudi. Spread them out, then leave to cook for a few minutes until golden on the undersides. Turn, then add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, asparagus and oregano. Season, then cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Serve sprinkled with the crumbs.
Traditionally, gnudi contains little or no flour and no egg yolk, but making it this way binds the mixture, so you don’t have to chill it for hours before cooking. This recipe is also sturdy enough for frying, which gives a fantastic crust.
A crisp young Italian white such as pecorino or a French picpoul de pinet.
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