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Recipe for :

Ravioli Gnudi (Rated X for 'Excellent')

This recipe comes from the website of Judy Witts Francini who lives and teaches cooking in Florence, Italy. Her website Divina Cucina is well worth a visit as it is both interesting and informative.

If you want to know a little bit more about Judy why not have a look at her biography page - click here.

"Actually a gnocchi or dumpling, these are formed from what is traditionally a ravioli filling, in this case a magro or thin vegetable filling, because of the lack of grasso or meat. This is a dish traditionally prepared in the spring and on Easter using the best ingredients of the season.

I make these ravioli with a fresh ricotta made of fresh sheep milk. During the season the sheep graze on fresh young grass and herbs which import a delicate flavor to the cheese. Pecorino cheese, for example, is very special this time of year because of the young spring herbs. It's eaten with pears or fresh fava beans, baccelli.

Young spinach is also very fresh now. The spinach is cooked, drained, and mixed with the ricotta, and seasoned with parmesan and nutmeg, a Florentine combination used since the Renaissance. The mixture is bound with egg and flour, and the dumplings are rolled in flour to provide a protective coating. (If you omit the flour, you can use the filling for traditional ravioli, lasagna, and crepes.)

It is important to form the ravioli with your hands in order to feel the consistency. I like to add as little flour as possible to the mixture; it makes the ravioli lighter. Always test with a single ravioli to make certain they don't fall apart in the boiling water.

Here's the recipe!"


1 pound loose spinach
12 ounces ricotta
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons parmesan


Cook spinach in very little water. Drain and squeeze out all excess water. Chop finely. Place in a large mixing bowl and add ricotta, eggs, parmesan, and flour. Blend well. Bring to boil large pot of salted water. Lower to simmer. Season spinach mixture with salt and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg.

Form ravioli by using a spoon or using floured hands. Drop a few at a time into water. They will drop to the bottom and then float to the top when done. Let simmer 20 - 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon or ladle and place in an oven-proof dish until ready to serve. They are wonderful with fresh sage leaves sautéed in butter until crisp. Pour butter and sage on top of ravioli, toss gently, and serve with parmesan cheese or tomato sauce.

These are excellent served with butter and cheese or a light tomato sauce. My favorite is a sauce without cream, like salsa di noci, walnut sauce.

Judy Witts Francini
Divina Cucina