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Ricotta Gnudi with Spinach & Dukka

Justin Chapple
These gnocchi-like dumplings are big, fluffy pillows of creamy ricotta that are jaw-droppingly good. They are deceptively easy to make, so they can do double-duty as a weeknight dinner or a special meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 10-ounce bunch leaf spinach, stemmed (or 5 ounces baby spinach)
  • Dukka, for sprinkling (see Note)

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor, combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl and puree again. Add the flour and pulse until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape the gnudi dough into a medium bowl.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat (it should be bubbling but not rapidly boiling) and then add a small handful of salt. Using a 1 ½-tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop half the gnudi dough directly into the simmering water. Simmer the gnudi until they rise to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to simmer until the gnudi are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes more. They should be pillowy but just firm (sacrifice 1 gnudi by cutting it in half to check the doneness). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnudi to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining gnudi dough. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the gnudi and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Give the pan a shake and cook until the gnudi are coated in the butter mixture, about 1 minute more. Using a slotted spoon, return the gnudi to the baking sheet.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the gnudi and lemon juice and stir gently to mix.
  • Season the gnudi and spinach with salt and pepper, then transfer to plates or a platter. Sprinkle with some dukka and serve.

Notes

Note: Dukkah, an Egyptian condiment typically served with bread or
vegetables, is a mixture of nuts, seeds, and spices that are dry toasted until very
fragrant and then pounded (or ground). You can buy it online or make your own.
How I make it: In a large skillet over medium heat, toast ¼ cup of coriander seeds with 2 tablespoons each of cumin and sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon of caraway, shaking the pan, until fragrant and the sesame seeds are golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Once cool, pulse the seeds in a food processor until finely crushed. Add ½ cup shelled pistachios (salted or not), ½ cup roasted almonds (also salted or not) and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a jar with a lid and stir in ¼ teaspoon of cayenne, then season generously with salt and black pepper. The dukka holds in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temp.
Do It Ahead: The cooked gnudi can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight. Reheat them in simmering water for about 1 minute and then let stand for 10 minutes before browning them in the skillet.
RICOTTA GNUDI WITH SPINACH & DUKKA is excerpted from JUST COOK IT! © 2018 by Justin Chapple. Photography © 2018 by David Malosh. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Keyword comforting, easy, gnudi, pasta, ricotta, spinach
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