I love the versatility of gnudi; they're light and pillowy but hearty enough to handle a rich, buttery glaze. Plus the ricotta flavor beautifully complements fresh vegetables.
Technique tip: If you want to make this dish ahead of time, blanch and shock the gnudi and place on an oiled sheet tray until ready to use.
Swap option: You can sub all-purpose flour for the "00" flour.
- 1 pound "dry" ricotta, preferably sheep's milk, drained if very wet
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
- 1/4 cup "00" flour
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Semolina, as needed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces on a bias, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup peas, shelled and blanched, divided
- Chives, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated
For the gnudi:
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the ricotta cheese and egg yolks at medium speed until incorporated.
2. With the machine on, add the flour, panko, kosher salt and mix until incorporated. The dough should feel moist but should not stick to your hand; if it does, add a little more flour.
3. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. While the dough rests, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil.
4. Roll a piece of the dough into 1½-inch ball. Cook it in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes to test for texture. If the gnudi is too soft to hold its shape, add more flour to the dough.
5. Refrigerate the rest of the dough for about an hour; this allows it to hydrate and will make shaping the dough easier.
6. Shape the dough into 1½-inch balls (about 27 total) and transfer to a semolina-dusted sheet pan (this keeps the gnudi from sticking).
7. Refrigerate the shaped gnudi if not using right away (loosely tented with plastic wrap, can last up to 2-3 days in the fridge).
For the glaze:
1. Prepare the glaze for the gnudi by placing two 12-inch sauté pans on the stove on medium heat (this can also be done in batches using one pan). Add the olive oil and asparagus to each pan and season with salt. Lightly sauté for 2-3 minutes.
2. Working in batches, cook the gnudi in salted boiling water until warmed through, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Ladle 1 cup of pasta cooking water into each pan.
4. Add equal amounts of butter to each pan, turn down the heat to medium-low and add the peas to both pans.
5. Add the gnudi to the sauté pans and cook, shaking the pans so they do not stick.
6. Once all gnudi are in the pans, keep agitating them gently so they do not stick and to help form the glaze about 4-5 minutes (if the pan gets too dry and looks like it is separating add more pasta cooking liquid).
7. Add the chives to the gnudi at the last minute and season with salt.
8. Divide gnudi evenly amongst four plates and finish with grated Parmesan.