Homemade Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Sage Butter


These Italian dumplings are essentially ravioli without the pasta covering. For best results, use fresh ricotta cheese, which can be found in Italian markets or specialty stores. Semolina is best for coating the baking sheet; you can substitute flour, but be careful that the gnudi are not absorbing too much of it.


  • 1 ½ pounds fresh spinach, large stems removed, washed well

  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese (about 6 ounces), preferably fresh, drained for 30 minutes in a fine sieve

  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Semolina, for dusting

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage, plus about 8 leaves


  1. 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, 3 to 5 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).

  2. Stir together spinach puree, egg yolks, cheeses, 2 tablespoons flour, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl.

  3. Mound 1 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, until ready to cook (up to overnight).

  4. 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 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining gnudi.

  5. Meanwhile, warm 4 plates. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chopped sage and the sage leaves. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons gnudi cooking water, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove gnudi from water shake off excess water, and transfer to plates. Drizzle with sage butter. Serve immediately.

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