Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Sage Butter
- 1 pound fresh spinach, large stems removed, washed well
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (about 6 ounces), preferably fresh, drained for 30 minutes in a fine sieve
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Semolina, for dusting
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 to 10 leaves coarsely chopped fresh sage, plus about 8 whole leaves
Fit a large pot with a steamer insert. Add enough water to come about 3 inches below bottom of insert, and bring to a simmer. Add spinach, cover, and steam until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly. Press to remove liquid. Roll spinach in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Transfer to a food processor, and puree until smooth (you should have 1 scant cup).
Stir together spinach puree, cheeses, salt, pepper, egg yolks, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl.
Mound remaining 1/2 cup flour on a cutting board. Using floured hands, gently shape 1 tablespoon spinach mixture into a small log. Drop it into the flour, and quickly roll to coat lightly. Transfer to a baking sheet that's lightly dusted with semolina. Repeat. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour or until ready to cook (up to overnight).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half the gnudi, and stir gently to prevent them from sticking together. Cook until gnudi rise to, and remain on, surface, about 7 minutes. Repeat with remaining gnudi.
Meanwhile, warm 4 plates. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until dark golden brown. Stir in chopped sage and the sage leaves. Add a little gnudi cooking water to the sauce to loosen.
Use a slotted spoon to remove gnudi, shaking off excess water, and transfer to plates. Drizzle with sage butter and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.