Gnudi

IMG_1030Look at those cute little Gnudi – pronounced nudie. They are like little, fluffy, pillowy ricotta cheese dumplings. I have seen them described as nude ravioli or ricotta cheese gnocchi. Whatever they are called, they are super delicious, fun to say and fun to make.

A vegan version was impossible up until now. Sorry, tofu doesn’t cut it. You need light, fluffy and delicious ricotta cheese. And, if I have not said it enough on this blog, the ricotta from Kite Hill Cheese is ah-mazing. I am telling you, these people are changing the vegan cheese game and if you have not had some yet, run, don’t walk to Whole Foods, and get some. Every time I go shopping, I pick up ricotta, cream cheese and the soft ripened.

Onto the gnudi – a mix of spinach, ricotta, cream cheese, flour, a chickpea flour egg, some nooch and a dash of nutmeg. It is a two step process (or it could be a one step process… you decide!) The first step is to boil the gnudi (like gnocchi). You can stop here and serve them with a lovely red sauce or pesto. Or you can take the second step which is my favorite way. Let the gnudi dry off and then drop them into a hot pan with a hunk of melted homemade vegan butter. They get crispy and the butter turns a deep brown for a rich and decadent dish. Try it both ways. And p.s., they are good cold too!

Makes 24 gnudi

8oz frozen spinach
8oz Kite Hill ricotta cheese (1 container)
4oz Kite Hill cream cheese (1/2 container)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
6 tablespoons all purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 chickpea flour egg (1/4 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup filtered water)
Nutmeg, a few scrapes on a rasp (this should be very subtle), optional

Defrost, cook and drain the spinach. Press out as much water as possible.

Whisk together the chickpea flour egg until smooth.

Drop the spinach into a large mixing bowl and add the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, nooch, flour, chickpea flour egg and a few scrapes of nutmeg. Mix together until totally incorporated. If it seems too lose, add a tablespoon of flour as needed.

Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet and dust liberally with flour.

Use a small ice cream scooper to scoop out small portions of the mixture and drop them onto the floured baking sheet. Roll the gnudi around until well coated.

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Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Line another baking tray with a kitchen towel. I use 100% cotton flour sack towels. Whatever you use, be sure they don’t shed or the towel will get on the gnudi.

Shake the excess flour off the gnudi. Use a spider strainer to drop 6 gnudi (or more depending on the size of your pot) into the water. When they pop up to the top take them out – this will take maybe 30 seconds – and drop them onto the towel. Repeat until all the gnudi have been boiled.

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Drop a big tablespoon of vegan butter in a skillet and add the gnudi into the butter. Roll around to coat and then let them sit until one side gets nice and brown. Serve either with the butter sauce or lift the gnudi out and serve the gnudi nude. Enjoy!

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