Let’s say you’ve got a yearly tradition of making ravioli with your sweetheart every Valentine’s Day. And let’s say that tradition usually involves making more ravioli than any couple could eat in one night as well as even more of an excess of the filling. And, finally let’s just say that while always delicious, you’re looking for a change of pace from the baked pasta with leftover ricotta filling. Well, if all of this applies to you, I’ve got a new alternative for you. Gnudi.
Huh?, you say? In Italian, it’s a derivative of naked. In reality, it’s basically a ricotta-based gnocchi. It’s pretty simple if you’ve already got the leftovers from filling ravioli or a lasagne.
This year’s Valentine’s Day ravioli featured a filling of broccoli rabe, ricotta, eggs, and lemon zest (served with an arugula pesto, alongside a tiny wild boar roast.) The day after, I simply added a little flour to the mixture (about 1/2 c. flour to the 1 c. of filling,) let that sit for a couple of hours, then rolled out little dumplings and boiled them gently for about 6 minutes.
The result was light, fluffy, almost matzo ball-like, but tasting very much of the main ingredients of the filling. I served this with a simple tomato sauce and penne. It was so good and easy, this is likely to become a new tradition in its own right.