Gnudi are like ravioli—but naked. The “nude” gnudi are basically “the traditional ricotta and spinach ravioli filling, minus the pasta wrapper and with a little flour added so they won’t fall apart,” Robert Lauriston explains. “They are also called gnocchi di ricotta e espinaci, since gnocco means dumpling and they are ricotta dumplings.”

babette feasts worked at a restaurant that had gnudi on the menu, and she describes the ins and outs of how they’re made. Instead of adding flour to the ricotta, the chef scooped little balls of ricotta onto a layer of semolina, and then covered them with more of the coarse durum wheat, she says. The ricotta balls would then go into the walk-in refrigerator for about three days so that they could dry and form a crust. Next, they were removed from the semolina and allowed to dry another day. “The semolina crust makes them easy to handle and they stay together while boiling, plus the ricotta stays soft and creamy,” babette feasts says.

Discuss: gnudi – what is it, exactly?

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