Florentine: Ricotta and spinach gnudi

This project isn’t going as smoothly as I had hoped. I haven’t really been cooking out of the four books I said I was going to focus on. I just don’t want to. They aren’t inspiring me right now. So, instead of choosing one book/month (or a few books every few months), I’m just going to cook out of my books. Whatever one strikes my fancy. And I have recently bought a few new ones (opps), with a few more on the wish list.

One of the new arrivals is Florentine, the new book by Emiko Davies. She is a frequent contributor to Food52, one of the blogs I regularly use and cook from. I usually love her recipes, so when I saw she had released a new book, I really wanted it. It focus on the cuisine from Florence, the city she calls home.

It is a beautiful book, and I’m looking forward to delving into it more. I had a bit of time this weekend, so I decided to make the gnudi recipe. I’ve made ricotta dumplings before, but this had a slightly different technique. Instead of incorporating the flour into the mixture, you form the balls and then roll them in flour to help them keep their shape. The mixture itself is simply spinach, ricotta (which I found fresh…it was still warm when I bought it, and the best tasting ricotta I’ve ever had!), egg, salt, and nutmeg. It is served with a brown butter sage sauce and sprinkled with parm.

They were very tasty – although I’m pretty sure there is no way that cheese + butter can’t be good! After boiling, however, the flour did cook up a bit gummy – I’m not sure if it is supposed to be that way, or they were particularly thick patches of flour. I actually think that they would cook up fine without the flour. But I was also reading about another technique, which has you roll them in semolina, refrigerate overnight, and then cook them. Apparently a very fine pasta like coating develops. I might try that next time.




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