Monday, 15 August 2011
Gnudi are so-called, because they are the filling of a raviolo, without the pasta encasing it. They are, in effect, “nude”.
This recipe is simple and quite elegant. Small ricotta dumplings, flavoured with vitamin-rich nettles, floating in simple chicken broth: it’s absolutely delicious and soul-satisfying.
Using high quality ingredients in this recipe is critical because there’s not much done to each element to disguise inferior quality. Excellent chicken stock, parmesan and ricotta will make all the difference.
You must wear gloves when handling the nettles because getting stung is a nasty experience. Be sure to wash them thoroughly from any grit or potential pesticides.
Blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain them and refresh under cold water. Wash them again to remove any remaining dirt.
You can use your hands at this point because once they’re blanched, although the barbs still look nasty, they’re soft and sting-free. I promise.
Gnudi all'Ortica con Brodo
(Nettle & Ricotta Dumplings in Broth)
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 4 as a starter.
200g blanched stinging nettles
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 garlic cloves, grated finely
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour, for binding
1 litre vegetable stock
Zest and juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
100g parmesan, finely grated
Piece of parmesan rind
Olive oil, for cooking
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. After blanching nettles in boiling water for 30 seconds, make sure to squeeze firmly them to remove excess moisture.
2. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, add crushed garlic cloves and nettles, salt and pepper and sauté until garlic has softened.
3. In a food processor, blend garlic and nettle mixture with ricotta and egg.
4. Remove and mix in half the parmesan to form a dough (reserve remainder for serving). If it’s too sticky, add a little of the wholemeal flour to bind.
5. Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll into small balls. Set on tray and refrigerate until ready to cook.
6. In one saucepan, bring a lot of salted water to the boil (for cooking gnudi).
7. Meanwhile in another saucepan, bring the chicken stock, parmesan rind and lemon zest to the boil. Reduce to simmer.
8. To cook the gnudi, gently drop them into the boiling water. Cook until they rise to the surface (between 1-3 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon and rest on tray, keeping warm.
9. When gnudi are ready, taste broth for seasoning then discard parmesan rind.
10. Add lemon juice to taste, then ladle into bowls. Add warm gnudi and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan before serving.
Note: If you can’t find nettles, use spinach instead.
This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, this week hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte.