Nudies!

Now that I have your attention, I want to talk about gnudi, pronounced with a silent “g”. Gnudi is a cross between gnocchi and ravioli.  Or you could call them a naked ravioli-just the filling, none of the pasta. However you describe them, I call them awesome. They got three thumbs up from my 5 year old son.

They’re kind of like a meatless meatball or a naked ravioli

This recipe for gnudi borders on violating my one basic principle that I require of recipes on this blog; its not really super easy. However, I stand by my declaration that if you are going to bother to cook, you might as well go big. With the help of your freezer, this recipe can make enough for two, maybe even three more meals. It does meet one of the secondary requirements and that is that it can be made gluten-free. Since these gnudi do not rely heavily on flour as an ingredient you can use some standard gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour.

For the marinara sauce, can use your favorite red sauce from a jar or your own homemade if you are that ambitious and have that kind of time. It will also work well with a pesto.

Once you’ve eaten some of the fresh batch you can put the rest in the freezer.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15oz container of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • (1) 10 oz package frozen spinach thawed, drained and chopped
  • 4-5 cups flour white, whole wheat or all all-purpose gluten-free
  • 2-4 cups marinara sauce

Do ahead: preheat oven to 375. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and bake on  tray for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel and discard skin then mash flesh with a fork.Thaw spinach in a colander. Wrap spinach in a clean dishtowel and squeeze excess water. Chop into small bits and squeeze once more in a towel. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs whisk in ricotta, parmesan, oregano, pepper, nutmeg and ¼ tsp salt. Whisk until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Whisk in spinach until incorporated. Fold in 2 cups of mashed potato. Sift 1 cup of flour into bowl and gently fold in. Mixture may still feel wet.

Spread 2 cups of flour on a baking pan with raised sides. Gently scoop ricotta mixture and roll into 2 ½ tbsp balls then drop onto flour. Toss flour over the balls to coat when finished. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

*To Freeze: put uncooked balls into freezer for a minimum of 4 hours on the baking sheet. Transfer into airtight containers making sure not to crowd each one. Put a piece of parchment over each layer to prevent sticking.

Cook:

From refrigerated-bring a large pot of water to a boil adding a pinch of salt. Shake off excess flour from each gnudi before dropping in the water being careful not to crowd the pot. Boil for 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Cover with marinara or sauce of choice.

From frozen-take gnudi out of the freezer and put on a plate 1 hour before cooking being careful not to leave any touching each other on the plate. Cook in a pot of boiling water for 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Cover with marinara or sauce of choice.

This recipe was adapted from Clean Eating magazine’s Nov/Dec 2012 issue by chef Joanne Lusted. Originally I tested this recipe exactly as printed but I had half a package of spinach and half a container of ricotta left over so I essentially doubled the recipe. Here it makes plenty for your freezer at no extra effort.

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