A few of you might remember when I discovered Stevie Parle’s take on gnudi from Identita’ Golose around this time last year. I continue to be obsessed with the recipe and find it endlessly versatile and always a delight. This version packs in as much flavor as color, and would be the perfect starter to a romantic Valentine’s dinner. Check out my other favorite Valentine’s Day recipes here.
Beet, Orange and Walnut Gnudi
- 17 oz / 500g fresh ricotta (sheep’s milk is ideal)
- 5.3 oz/ 150 g of cooked, peeled beets, chopped
- 1/2 cup / 60 g of toasted, chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup / 75 g of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus more for garnish
- 2 lbs / 1 kg of fine semolina flour for pasta
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tbsp freshly-squeezed orange juice
Drain the ricotta for an hour (or overnight) in a sieve or colander.
In a food processor, blend the beets with the walnuts and drained ricotta, then stir in the parmesan and orange zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour half of the semolina into a wide tray. Delicately roll the ricotta mixture into balls about 1.5 in (3 cm) in diameter then gently place them into the semolina and turn to coat, then cover them with the remaining semolina. Let them sit for a few hours (or up to a day) covered in semolina and they will form a delicate protective skin. (The ricotta mixture could be very soft and hard to manage with your hands, try forming the balls using two spoons instead).
When you are ready to serve; shake off excess semolina from the gnudi and carefully slide them into a large pot of gently boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, they should rise to the top of the pan when ready. Once the gnudi have risen to the top, carefully remove them from the pan and place into a large warm bowl, generously pour over melted butter and orange juice.
Serve 7-8 gnudi per person and garnish with orange zest.