Basil Gnudi in Red Pepper Sauce
- Prep Time 0:25
- Cook Time 0:15
- Estimated Cost $12.50
- 22 Comments
Ricotta melts and oozes out as you fork into each one.
My friend and fellow food writer, Michael Natkin loves gnudi so much that he put them on the cover of his recent (fabulous) cookbook, Herbivoracious! And what's not to love? Pillowy, creamy ricotta dumplings (like gnocchi, but bigger and MUCH easier to prepare) make a quick but very special vegetarian meal. As they cook, their outsides become firm yet fluffy, and inside, the ricotta melts and oozes out as you fork into each one.
Inspired by his recipe, these gnudi feature fresh, summery basil (though I'm looking forward to trying them with other fresh herbs), and swim in a creamy, ultra-simple red pepper sauce. Serve them as a side to a meat or fish, or let them take center stage, and add a green salad and a cooked vegetable or two.
Whatever you do, make sure to serve these with good, crusty bread, for sopping up the addictive bright red sauce.
- 8 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging and for plate Pantry
- 1 15-oz. container of ricotta (drain any extra liquid) $3.50
- 4 garlic cloves, minced divided Pantry
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish $1 for bunch
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, all lightly beaten together $1.50 for 6 eggs
- salt and ground black pepper Pantry
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish $3.50 for 12 oz.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 1 medium onion, chopped $0.50
- 1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped $2
- 1/4 cup half-and-half $1.50 for a pint
Recipe Serves 4
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, ricotta, 2 cloves of minced garlic, the basil, the egg and egg yolks, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and the Parmesan. Continue stirring until a sticky dough forms.
- Lightly flour a large platter or a baking sheet, and make sure your hands are well-floured as well (keep a small bowl of flour nearby--you'll need it to continue flouring your hands).
- Scoop up about 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough, and roll it gently in your floured hands a few times to form a smooth ball. Set the ball on the prepared platter or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Set the platter aside (or refrigerate if you want to cook the gnudi later).
- Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 7-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the drained, chopped red bell pepper and stir. Add the half-and-half, stir again and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the half-and-half has thickened.
- Use an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor to puree the sauce until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the sauce and keep it warm at the back of the stove.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the gnudi, working in batches (I did it in thirds) for about 5 minutes, until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.
- To serve the gnudi, divide the sauce between 4 plates or bowls, and top with the gnudi.
- Garnish with Parmesan and more basil.