Gnudi with Homemade Spinach Pesto

Gnudi with Homemade Spinach Pesto

Gnudi are sort of like gnocchi, except made with ricotta instead of potato.

I made mine with homemade soy milk ricotta (for a lactose/dairy free version) but you can make it with regular homemade or store-bought ricotta too.

I will share the recipe for the soy ricotta soon, but know that homemade, store-bought, lactose or no lactose, you will probably always have to adjust the quantities of flours slightly to suit the moisture content of your ricotta.

Remember from the basic guide on flours that coconut flour is better at absorbing moisture but also has a stronger taste, so you might wish to play with a coconut/almond flour blend.

You can use grated parmesan instead of the nutritional yeast (recommended if you’re not going lactose-free): add around 20g of cheese, and reduce the amount of almond flour to around 25 and coconut flour to around 30g, but assess the consistency of the dough as you work with it.

Gnudi

Ingredients

  • 250g ricotta
  • 7g nutritional yeast (or 20g finely grated parmesan*)
  • 30g almond flour
  • 35g coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4tsp salt to taste

Method

  • Make sure you drain as much excess liquid off the ricotta as possible (no need to squeeze or press it, just drain it off if there’s any) and place the ricotta in a bowl
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and use a fork to mix everything well
  • “Knead” the dough with the fork for a few minutes to let everything come together
  • You are looking for a dough that is rather humid but clumps together and you can make small balls with when you roll them in your hands. You might need to add a bit more almond and coconut flour in small quantities to achieve this
  • Scoop small spoonfuls of the dough, roll these between your palms to create small spheres, and place onto baking parchment on a plate, without touching each other
  • Let them rest in the fridge for at least 1hour before proceeding
  • After the gnudi have rested, set a small pot of salted water to a gentle boil
  • Carefully drop the gnudi in small batches of 5 or 6 at a time (ensure they don’t touch each other) into the water. They should sink to the bottom.
  • When they float, they’re ready- carefully use two forks to scoop them out of the water one at a time, and place on a plate (not touching) whilst you do the rest.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the sauce (in this case pesto, see below).
  • Drop the boiled gnudi into the sauce, and gently cook them for a few minutes, stirring carefully (they’re very delicate!) to coat them in the sauce all over before spooning into serving bowls.
  • A sprinkle of grated cheese over the finished product always helps.

Pesto

You can use other nuts you might have at hand (traditional pine nuts, walnuts…), and other greens and herbs (traditional basil, or a mix)

Ingredients

  • 30g pecans and almonds
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 60g spinach leaves (raw and fresh)
  • 10g rocket leaves
  • 1tsp nutritional yeast (or 20g of finely grated parmesan/pecorino)
  • Salt to taste
  • 90ml olive oil

Method

  • Place the nuts in a food processor or blender cup, and pulse a few times until they become powdery, before they turn into a paste
  • Add the garlic, the greens and around 1/3 of the oil, and pulse a few times to begin to form a paste. Depending on your processor you might add the greens in stages to make sure they get chopped up
  • Add the nutritional yeast/cheese and salt to taste and the remaining oil, and pulse again until it all comes together into a thick paste. 
  • The pesto is ready to eat as is (cold in salads or spread on bread), but you can also heat it up in a pan to serve as a warm sauce for pastas and vegetable (see above with the gnudi)
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