Things that are baked. Things that have cheese. Things that make the house smell amazing. These are some of my favourite food related things and this gnudi has them all.
Here’s a fun fact about me, up until last year I really, really didn’t like any kind of raw tomato. In fact, when I was a kid I was convinced they gave me headaches much to the amusement of my family. Now I’m not sure if I just happened to get a headache one time when I ate a tomato but I couldn’t bring myself to eat them for years.
Then something magical happened. I went to Italy and remembered how good tomatoes can be. Like seriously, is there anything better than a summery Italian tomato? So now I’m back to boring old British winter tomatoes which don’t taste even a tenth as good but there’s enough of a memory there to make them worth eating. One of my favourite snacks is cream cheese, cherry tomatoes and black pepper on toast (especially since I don’t like avocado so I can’t partake in the worldwide avocado toast obsession!)
Anyway, nowadays when I see a recipe involving cherry tomatoes I’m always pretty excited. This one was no disappointment. The tomatoes have time to cook a little in a frying pan with some butter, chilli flakes, oregano and garlic to make them all soft and juicy and then are baked to make them even more caramelised.
Then there’s the gnudi. So gnudi is like gnocchi but made out of ricotta instead of potato. When I originally saw a recipe for gnudi I assumed that it was actually just like the inside of filled pasta and the reason it was called gnudi (which is pronounced nude-y) is because it’s like ‘nude pasta filling’ which now I think about it is a pretty stupid thing to think. It is true what they say about assuming I guess…
Either way it’s gnocchi-like ricotta dumplings baked with tomato sauce and parmesan. YUM.
Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi Bake
- 500 g Baby Leaf Spinach
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 cloves Garlic chopped
- 500 g Ricotta Cheese
- 75 g Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1 tbsp Plain Flour (you may need a little more)
- Salt and Pepper
- 280 g Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- Large pinch Chilli Flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spinach and half the garlic and saute with some salt and pepper until the spinach is wilted.
- Remove the spinach and allow to cool on a chopping board. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the same pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute or two then add the tomatoes, butter, oregano and chilli flakes with some more salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes to allow the tomatoes to soften.
- While the tomatoes are cooking chop the spinach then add it to a large bowl along with the ricotta, parmesan, flour and salt and pepper. One you've mixed everything together you should be able to make rugby-ball-shaped dumplings out of the mixture, I got 12 altogether. If the mixture is too wet just add a little more flour until it's easier to work with. Carefully place each gnudi into a large baking dish.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the gnudi and then top everything with another grating of parmesan cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes.