summer cooking : ricotta gnudi

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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ricotta gnudi01A few days ago I decided to try a new recipe from our latest issue of food and wine. The problem was I didn’t quite have all of the necessary ingredients, and since I live in the country a quick trip to the store for chanterelles wasn’t in the cards. So, I decided to go ahead with my own version of ricotta gnudi with mushrooms and fresh asparagus from the backyard. Besides the differences in accompaniments to the gnudi, I also decreased the amount of butter in the original version and played around with the flavors. If the food world is anything like the art world, making your own version gives you ownership so I’m excited to say I created a new recipe, albeit based on another.

Besides the fact that I thought the recipe would work with the current ingredients in my kitchen, it also was relatively fast and easy which is always a bonus in the summer. Gnudi as I’ve discovered are similar to gnocchi but instead of using potato we use ricotta. Here is the round up of ingredients I used in my recipe:

gnudi:

  • 1 lb whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1c all purpose flour + more
  • 1/4c freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • lemon zest

sauce:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 lb mushrooms (14oz or so)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 3 T butter
  • thyme

to make the gnudi:

in a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, butter, nutmeg, lemon zest  + parmigiano. Sprinkle 1 c of flour over mixture and fold it in. Dust the dough lightly with flour and shape into a ball, then move to a floured work surface and roll into a rope.

I found that more flour was definitely needed to keep from sticking and I made a few smaller balls which i then rolled out to a rope size so that they were more manageable. At this point bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and work on the rest of the ingredients

asparagus + mushrooms:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med/high and add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are lightly browned and liquid is evaporated, 10 to 12 min. About halfway through cooking the mushrooms, add asparagus and continue to cook. Add garlic and leaves from sprig of fresh thyme (i didn’t have that so I used dried…) and stir over low heat for a minute. Add 1/2 cup water and butter to pan and raise heat and stir until melted. Season with salt

bring it all together:

when salted water is boiling, add gnudi and cook for 4-6 minutes until tender and cooked through. Drain and add to skillet (with all veg still in there) and stir gently to coat with sauce. Cook for 1-2 min in skillet and then serve with some fresh grated Parmigiano on top!

not that difficult, right? It was a bit harder to bring my camera in to the kitchen and document the process, but I took a few pictures which I’m sure you’ll appreciate. Enjoy this quick recipe and don’t be afraid to make it your own! ricotta gnudi02ricotta gnudi04ricotta gnudi08ricotta gnudi05ricotta gnudi06ricotta gnudi07ricotta gnudi10ricotta gnudi12ricotta gnudi13

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