Gnocchi party – Gnocchi gnudi

Gnocchi party details

Gnocchi party details

I have to admit that I have a slight obsession with the humble gnocchi. It is one of those dishes that I think is difficult to get it right. When I posted a couple of gnocchi recipes previously, the response had been pretty good and so with the encouragement of a small group of food loving friends around the world, we are staging a Gnocchi party.

I knew I wanted to use cheese and bacon right from the start. To me, it is definitely umami. Very few people I know find it hard to resist both. And I can confirm that this 2 ingredients are umami rich foods from the link that @tummyrumbles have kindly shared with all.

At the very last minute, I made the decision to make gnocchi gnudi (nude gnocchi) just because it is something that I have not tried before. And no rolling, cutting and forking made the whole process a whole lot easier! So the day started with a trip to Victoria market in cold summer morning in Melbourne. Bill’s Farm is one of my favourite deli. They have some of the best Jamon in Melbourne and the smoked Tasmanian salmon is delicious! The Epicurean is one of the places where I by cheeses from.

Victoria-market-gnocchi-shopping

** This recipe is adapted from Robert of Food & love

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmigiano-Reggiano

I was eating the ricotta like a piece of cake. It was so yummy!

Fresh ricotta

Fresh ricotta

Ingredients:

  • 450g fresh spinach, stems trimmed and rinsed well
  • 2 tsp freshly-ground white pepper
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta, drained of excess water
  • 1/4 cup flour and more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup freshly and finely-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and more for plating
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 Pancetta streaks
  • Salt for seasoning
Gnudi mixture

Gnudi mixture

Gnudi before cooking

Gnudi before cooking

Method:

  1. Rinse the spinach. Do not dry. In a saute pan with a lid over medium heat, add the wet spinach, salt and white pepper. Cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the spinach. Once it is sufficiently cool to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible.
  2. Chop well the spinach. Set aside on paper towels to further dry. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of flour. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolks, nutmeg, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir together. Adjust salt accordingly.
  4. Dust your hands with flour. Form the mixture into small oblate spheroids (slightly-flatted balls). You do not need to roll gnudi across a fork, as they are already rather absorbent
  5. Lightly dredge the gnudi in the flour, shaking off excess, so that they have a thin coat.
  6. Bring a stock pot of heavily-salted water to boil. Lower the heat and add the gnudi in batches, about a half dozen at a time. Cook, gently stirring, until the gnudi rise to and remain on the top. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a colander. Continue with the remaining gnudi
  7. Prepare the pancetta by simply pan-frying some till crispy
  8. Heat up a pan with some butter and a dash of olive oil. Add sage leaves and it is crispy, put in the gnudi and shallow fry till the base is slightly browned
  9. Plate gnudi with crispy pancetta and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano
Gnocchi gnudi topped with crispy pancetta and Parmesan

Gnocchi gnudi topped with crispy pancetta and Parmigiano-Reggiano

I love it and it was really good and easy and to make. The gnudi was so light as it uses very flour. There is no way I could say no to a cheese ball! And this can be a perfect vegetarian dish without the addition of crispy pancetta.

Just a few notes:

  • Make sure that water is at a low boil and be attentive while the gnocchi is in the water.
  • Dry spinach out as much as you can
  • Get fresh ricotta
  • I tend to make more gnocchi and freeze the left overs. To freeze, just place them apart on a baking sheet in a tray. Place the tray in a freezer and once it is frozen, move it to a storage box. To cook it, just place the frozen gnocchi into water and it follow the same process.

A little how-to Video:

Our final guest list:

Please head over to Gnocchi party and all the amazing contribution and read about everyone’s adventure and what they brought to the party.

So thanks everyone for their contribution and yummy creations. If you have any suggestions of the next party, please comment!