December 6, 2019

Spinach & Ricotta Gnudi

Recipe: Angela Marotta and Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Gnudi can be baked ahead of time and warmed up in a covered baking dish just before serving.


Marinara Sauce

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 796 mL can whole Italian plum tomatoes (ideally San Marzano), hand-crushed
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt


  • 500 g full-fat ricotta
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300 g frozen chopped spinach, with liquid squeezed out
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • Salt and black pepper


Yield: Serves 8 as an appetizer

Drain Ricotta

  1. Line sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towel. Scrape in ricotta. To remove excess moisture, let drain for 4 hours, or overnight, in refrigerator.

Make Marinara Sauce

  1. Heat oil in wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 4 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes (with juices) and basil. Season with salt.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, or until flavorful and slightly reduced.

Make Gnudi

  1. Heat olive oil in medium-size frying pan over medium heat. Add spinach. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until spinach is dry and flavorful. Season with salt. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, add drained ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and mix well. Add eggs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and mix until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In large glass or ceramic baking dish, ladle in enough Marinara Sauce to lightly cover base, about 3⁄4 cup.
  4. Using 2 large soup spoons, form gnudi into oval or quenelle-like shapes. Place gnudi into baking dish in single layer. Sprinkle Parmesan over top.
  5. Bake in oven, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until gnudi are firm.
  6. Remove from oven and let stand for about 15 minutes. Plate with remaining Marinara Sauce and sprinkle of Parmesan.

Stacey Brandford


House & Home December 2018