If you like gnocchi, you'll love gnudi. Made with ricotta cheese and swiss chard, it's a fresh indulgent pasta that melts in your mouth.
You probably know gnocchi, the Italian dumpling made with potatoes, but what about gnudi? Translated to English, the word “gnudi” means exactly what it sounds like: “nude.” It gets the name because this Tuscan take on gnocchi is similar to the filling of a ravioli. If you strip off the pasta, take the filling, add some flour, greens, and seasonings, you essentially have gnudi.
The difference between gnudi and gnocchi
Much like gnocchi, gnudi is a soft pasta-like dumpling that practically melts in your mouth. The big difference is that the main ingredient of gnocchi is potato while with gnudi, it’s ricotta cheese. Naturally, the lack of potato makes gnudi softer and more delicate. Right now I have plenty of Swiss chard in my garden, so I added some into the gnudi dough. You can try other greens, such as spinach or arugula, as well. While I was at it, I threw in some mint and lemon zest to add a little freshness.
The dish is light (at least in texture and density, if not calories) because you serve it in a simple brown butter sauce. It's then mixed with fresh oregano leaves and lemon juice. It is quite filling with a side of bread and salad, or perhaps some quickly sauteed vegetables, such as peas or zucchini.
hiding greens in gnudi
My nephew and sister joined us to try these gnudi recently. Thanks to the chard, the gnudi were filled with flecks of green, my nephew's favorite color. That was the pitch my sister attempted to use to get him to try it.
But it wasn't until I brought a piece of gnudi to where he was hiding in the living room and told him it was a treat that he gave it a try. He then came back to the table and ate several more bites. No, I don't know anything about parenting; it's just the same tactic that works with my dog when I want his attention.
When it came time to share a bowl of strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert, though, my nephew nearly spit it back into the bowl. I guess you can’t win them all. But I can’t blame him. I was not too fond of rhubarb as a kid, either.
Whether you call it Swiss chard gnudi or a treat, these little dumplings are a fun alternative to traditional pasta and are perfect for a summer dinner with family.Print