Thanks to Vitamix for sponsoring this post!
Hello lovelies! After that brief hiatus I am well and truly back. Like properly, this time, as I’ve just actually finished all my coursework and finals for university. I haven’t *officially* graduated yet but I will officially have my Food Science and Nutrition BSc degree in about a month and a half.
So now that I’m properly moved back to London I can focus on creating recipes again! And that break has given me ample time to get inspired so there’s much content in the works. I’m also going to Portland and New Mexico in a few weeks which I’m sure will inspire some future recipes. Today, however, we’re focusing on these little gnudi (pronounced nyew-dee) dudes!
You may be wondering what these are: think of them like ricotta gnocchi but less flour-y and more ricotta-y. As a result, the dough is a LOT wetter than a classic gnocchi dough and thus, they have a little clever step to help you form them; you blob the mixture into a tray generously lined with semolina and sprinkle even more semolina on top. This then sits in the fridge for 2-48 hours so that the gnudi soak up that semolina and form a light crust around the outside. This stops them falling apart when you boil them.
Usually, gnudi are plain but here I’ve used my Vitamix Ascent Series blender to blitz cooked carrots into a puree which I folded into the dough. They’re boiled and then fried in a bit of sage butter to get super criiiiispy. I made a classic Italian walnut sauce which the Vitamix is perfect for, blitzing the nuts into THE MOST smooth, luscious sauce which sits under the gnudi. I even scattered on some roasted carrot coins to add extra flavour & veg to the dish. All in all it’s a pretty easy yet impressive dish to make (so perfect for dinner parties) but it’s also fun and a bit hands-on so is great to make with kids!
Carrot Gnudi with Creamy Walnut Sauce
Makes 35-40 gnudi (serves ~6 people as a main or 12 people as a starter)
For the carrot gnudi:
- 1250 g carrots, tops removed
- 250 g semolina
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium eggs
- 500 g ricotta cheese
- 150 g plain white flour
- salt + black pepper
For the creamy walnut sauce:
- 150 g walnuts, toasted
- 1 slice (~50g) bread, crusts removed
- 200 ml water
- 30 g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil (refined)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 12 sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF). Dust two baking trays with half of the semolina.
Take 500g of the carrots and slice into 2mm thick coins. Toss on a tray with the olive oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden.
Make the gnudi:
Cut the remaining carrots into quarters and add to a pot of boiling water. Leave to simmer on the stove for 20-30 minutes until super soft. Drain and tip into a blender and blitz until you get a mostly smooth puree (I use the tamper stick with the Vitamix to help it all blend up). Tip the puree into a large bowl.
Line a plate with two pieces of paper kitchen towel and dump the ricotta out onto it. Cover with two more pieces of paper kitchen towel and press down to flatten the ricotta out (this is to remove lots of the moisture from the ricotta). Peel off the paper towels and tip the ricotta into the bowl. Crack in the eggs and mix together until well combined.
Add the flour and a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper to the bowl. Gently stir together until just combined.
Use a mechanical ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to scoop up some of the mixture - you want about 2 tablespoons of dough per gnudi. Blob that onto the tray lined with semolina and repeat until all the mixture is used up. Sprinkle the remaining semolina over the top of the blobs (and you can even spoon the semolina off the tray onto the gnudi). Set in the fridge for 2 to 48 hours so they soak up the semolina.
Make the walnut sauce:
Tear the bread into small pieces and soak in the water for 5 minutes. Tip the bread and water into the jug of a blender (like a Vitamix) along with the walnuts, parmesan, olive oil and garlic. Blitz until silky smooth then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Lower in some of the gnudi (I think 4-5 per person is a good amount) and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the olive oil, butter and sage leaves in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Lift the gnudi out of the pot with a slotted spoon and gently place into the frying pan. Let cook until golden underneath (about 2-3 minutes) then flip and let the other side get golden before removing them from the frying pan along with the sage leaves.
Spread a heaped tablespoon of the walnut sauce in the bottom of the bowl. Top with the gnudi, crispy sage and the roasted carrots. You can also grate some extra parmesan on top, if desired! Eat immediately.
- once the gnudi have been soaking up the semolina for at least 2 hours, you can freeze them for later: Just freeze on the baking tray for 1 hour until firm before sliding them into a sandwich bag and placing back into the freezer. You can cook them straight from frozen in 6 minutes as per usual!