If you've ever wanted to make ravioli but backtracked, rapidly, when you thought about making the pasta dough, consider gnudi instead. As their name—which derives from the Italian word for "nude"—indicates, they're all tasty filling (typically ricotta and spinach or chard) with no pasta exterior.
We love them so much, we could eat them tossed simply in butter—but why stop there?
This recipe by Danielle Oron layers little gnudi pillows with homemade vodka sauce, then tucks them under mozzarella cheese that browns and bubbles under the broiler.
All in all, there's roughly 5 cups of cheese (ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella) in this recipe. As our tester put it, "What's better than a mouthful of cheese-topped cheese mixed with more cheese?" Not much, we'd say!
For the vodka sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the baked gnudi
- 2 cups smooth ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Vodka sauce (see recipe above)
- 1 fresh mozzarella ball
- 1 pinch fresh black pepper
What's your favorite way to prepare gnudi? Will you be making this yourself? Tell us in the comments below!