Recipe and words by Klara Risberg
Soft, pillowy ricotta balls with wild garlic and burnt butter. The cousin of gnocchi but using ricotta instead of potato. As ricotta is the main man in this recipe it’s worth hunting down the best ricotta you can find. As we are in the early days of the wild garlic season, I really encourage you to get out and about to find it locally. This recipe calls for quite a lot of fresh wild garlic, if you are unable to pick your own you can mix it up with fresh spinach too.
This recipe serves two as a main or four as a starter but can easily be scaled up. Gnudi can be frozen once boiled for up to two months.
300g ricotta, drained
85g blanched, well drained and finely chopped wild garlic
All purpose flour
1 egg yolk
40g finely grated parmesan
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
For the sauce
2 garlic cloves
20g fresh wild garlic leaves
Salt and pepper
Start by mixing ricotta, wild garlic, parmesan, nutmeg, egg yolk, salt and pepper in a bowl. The amount of flour you need to add depends on how well drained your blanched wild garlic is but start with adding 1-2 table spoons of flour and mix well, you will notice when you can just about form a little ball. If still too to lose add another tablespoon of flour at a time.
Cover a sheet pan or plate with a thick layer of semolina and take a bowl and fill with semolina. Take some of the mixture, about a tablespoon and roll to a rough ball and transfer it to the semolina bowl, cover with semolina and roll into a ball. The semolina makes it less sticky and easy to roll. Transfer to the tray and leave whilst you roll the remaining gnudi.
To cook the gnudi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add gnudi and cook until the float to the surface, this should take about 5-7 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pot, it’s better to cook gnudi in batches if needed. Drain well on kitchen towel.
Meanwhile, add the butter to a pan on medium heat, once you see the butter starting to change colour add whole garlic cloves and lemon peel, cook for another minute until adding fresh wild garlic leaves and gnudi, season with salt and pepper. Coat gnudi in the butter sauce and transfer to a serving dish. As you cook the wild garlic leaves in the butter, they will turn crispy. Spoon the butter sauce over the gnudi, add the crispy leaves and grate good quality parmesan over the top.