Saturday, June 16, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi


15 oz. ricotta, drained in a strainer for at least two hours
1/2 c. spinach, sauteed in a little chicken broth and finely chopped
1/2 c. grated parmesan, plus some more for serving

4 T. flour

3 T. panko breadcrumbs

1/4 t. pepper

Pinch grated nutmeg

2 egg yolks

olive oil, for coating

4 T. melted butter, for reheating

Mushroom Puree
Olive oil

3 shallots, thinly sliced

3 oz. fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, hydrated and squeezed dry, sliced with liquid reserved

1 oz. brown beech mushrooms, sliced

1/4 t. salt

Pinch crushed chili flakes

For the Gnudi
Mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan, flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs together.  Make two small balls and test cook by placing them in boiling water until they float and then shock in iced water.  Taste.  If they are too soft and don't hold together, add more flour or breadcrumbs and test again.

Portion all the gnudi and roll into balls.  Cook in boiling water until they float, about two minutes, and then shock in iced water.  Coat with olive oil and reserve until ready to serve.

For the puree
Caramelize shallots in a few tablespoons of evoo, until soft and sweet, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms until lightly colored and tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and chili flakes and sweat for an additional 3 minutes. Pour the liquid from the hydrated porcini mushrooms in the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Transfer contents into a blender and puree until the consistency is smooth. Add water if the mixture gets too thick and it stops moving. Add a drizzle of olive oil while blending and taste for seasoning. Reserve until ready to serve.

To serve: warm the puree. Reheat the gnudi in a pan with salted simmering water with the melted butter. Plate the puree and place the gnudi on top with a sprinkle of parmesan.

I changed the recipe by cutting the salt and adding lots more mushrooms.  You don't have to use what it calls for, but some rehydrated mushrooms are a must.  Rehydrate in lots of water so you can use it to thin down if needed.  I also added twice as much spinach.  This is a wonderful tasting dish and it is completely do ahead.  I plan on making gnudi and seeing if it freezes well.

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