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No love for Gnudi?

z
zackly Feb 16, 2014 10:16 AM

I love gnudi and make it often usually because I have ricotta past its expiration date and the other ingredients eggs, grated cheese, flour & nutmeg on hand . I live in the NYC metro area where there are plenty of good Italian restaurants but I rarely see it on the menu. Even here and on other food blogs, not much talk about it. Did it have its day in restaurants and is now passe? Do other Chowhounders make it or even care for it? I always wonder why gnudi & pizza frite aren't on more menus. They are both simple to make, delicious and inexpensive.

  1. Bada Bing Feb 17, 2014 02:36 PM

    Gnudism was hot in the '70s...

    Seriously: it bears saying in confirmation of your point that I know Italian foods pretty well and have never heard of Gnudi. I'm happy to learn something new here. Thanks.

    1. mbfant Feb 16, 2014 11:03 PM

      You won't see them that often in Italy either. "Gnudi" is a Tuscan designation, and Tuscany is only one of 20 Italian regions. Elsewhere you will occasionally see "gnocchi di ricotta" but not that often. Really, in Italy people like pasta, and a primo piatto without pasta fails to satisfy. Certainly many people gobble them up when they appear on a menu, and they are certainly traditional, but I think you're right that gnudi enjoyed a moment in the limelight. What is "pizza frite"?

      10 Replies
      1. re: mbfant
        kattyeyes Feb 17, 2014 04:21 AM

        Pizza fritte = fried dough

        1. re: kattyeyes
          mbfant Feb 17, 2014 06:02 AM

          I presume you mean pizza fritta (in the singular). Fried dough, which I cannot recall ever seeing in Italy, though I must have, is not a menu item but more of a street food or snack food. Also it probably has many names (and I would love to hear about them).

          1. re: mbfant
            kattyeyes Feb 17, 2014 06:09 AM

            Maybe it's an Italian-American thing. They usually serve it at festivals and fairs.

            In my family, it was fried dough balls (plural) and our dialect drops the final vowel, anyway, thus, phonetically, it was pizza "freet." I have never seen it on a menu. Not sure why some batches we had extra dough for it, but I always looked forward to those days of fried dough balls all shaken up in a paper bag of sugar. I can still sort of taste them. And when I recently made pizza at home that tasted like the restaurant, I was so thrilled, I could have almost cried happy tears.

            1. re: kattyeyes
              z
              zackly Feb 17, 2014 07:17 AM

              I've seen pizza frite three times on restaurant menus around here, two were pizzeria's and the third was a white tablecloth Italian restaurant where they offered it only as a dessert with powdered sugar. Why wouldn't every pizzeria with a deep fryer offer it? They have the dough already.Everyone I know raves about eating it @ summer fairs.

              1. re: zackly
                kattyeyes Feb 17, 2014 10:59 AM

                OOOH, have you? Do tell, where? I'm with you--every pizzeria with a Fryalator should be servin' 'em up. Maybe it's just one more fried thing they don't want to bother with in the middle of service. We always did it off busy times as a treat. I love that you also saw it in a schmantizer white tablecloth setting. PERFETTO!

                1. re: kattyeyes
                  z
                  zackly Feb 17, 2014 12:07 PM

                  kattyeyes........This is where I had the pizza frite dessert. It is a sleeper Italian restaurant with a real Italian chef. It's in an old, fairly seedy strip mall(actually they have a strip club neighbor)in South Norwalk, CT. The food is excellent and cheaper than the trendoid places down the street. I'm sure they would make you a savory pizza frite if you asked. The owner is very nice.They also own Sunset Grill, a very popular place on the water with outside seating that is only open in the warmer months.
                  http://www.valentinoscucina.com/

                  1. re: zackly
                    kattyeyes Feb 17, 2014 12:27 PM

                    Grazie mille! I don't go that way often, but I feel the need for a road trip. :) Great, great info to have!

                2. re: zackly
                  Ttrockwood Feb 17, 2014 10:48 PM

                  You're near nyc? Forcella on Bowery does a fried pizza that had a moment a few years ago, not deep fried like a county fair, very light somehow.

                3. re: kattyeyes
                  biondanonima Feb 17, 2014 05:35 PM

                  I think it is an Italian-American thing. I had an Italian-American friend whose mother used to make us fried dough (which she topped with a sugar glaze) - she called it "pasta fritta," though.

                  1. re: biondanonima
                    kattyeyes Feb 17, 2014 05:39 PM

                    HA HA HA! Her mom took it to a new level. ;)

          2. Ttrockwood Feb 16, 2014 07:38 PM

            The sheeps milk ricotta gnudi at the spotted pig (of all places!) is one of their signature dishes.....
            http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ttrockwood
              s
              sedimental Feb 16, 2014 09:41 PM

              I have made that before. Very nice recipe. I use a similar technique for it sitting in flour. I don't leave it in semolina though, it turns out too hard.

            2. kattyeyes Feb 16, 2014 02:02 PM

              My mom saw a recipe recently in the paper and clipped it to try. I forget whose it was, however. I've never had them but would like to try them--was interested to learn how folks serve them, too. Seems like there are plenty of saucing options.

              ETA: I love pizza fritte, too, but we only made them with extra bread/pizza dough at my family's restaurant. ALWAYS a treat. I can only go back in my mind occasionally at a fair with a big slab of fried dough. We made little balls. They were sheer awesomeness.

              1. z
                zackly Feb 16, 2014 12:30 PM

                Saw this recipe on Youtube. Different than how I prepare, firmer & twice cooked but it looks excellent. I will try soon.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVaxv4...

                2 Replies
                1. re: zackly
                  s
                  sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 01:18 PM

                  the next FN star

                  1. re: zackly
                    b
                    bear Feb 16, 2014 01:29 PM

                    Huh, chickpea flour. Looks delicious. And she convinced me to let my gnudi set in the fridge for a while. I could do without the honey, though.

                    Thanks for the link. Now I have to explore Hungry.

                  2. b
                    bear Feb 16, 2014 12:05 PM

                    Anne Burrell's gnudi is pretty simple and delicious. It's very light and easy to put together. The semolina-lined cookie sheet does help to hold the formed gnudi pretty well.

                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bear
                      s
                      sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 12:12 PM

                      Interesting. She cooks immediately, but dries the ricotta overnight beforehand. As opposed to the recipes I've used which essentially dry the gnudi in flour after forming them.

                      1. re: sal_acid
                        b
                        bear Feb 16, 2014 12:15 PM

                        I don't usually drain the ricotta because we have a couple of local places that sell really fresh, well-drained ricotta and it works well in the recipe. I might try drying the gnudi if I'm ever organized enough to plan that far in advance and can handle the delayed gratification, though.

                    2. d
                      daislander Feb 16, 2014 10:55 AM

                      I just bought a big tub of ricotta to make this http://www.chow.com/recipes/30496-pum... but with sweet potato not pumpkin.

                      Care to share a proven gnudi recipe!?

                      1. s
                        sedimental Feb 16, 2014 10:30 AM

                        That is funny, I am making some spinach gnudi today! I have some big batch homemade Sunday gravy thawing as we speak :)

                        I love it too. Much less floury and carby than its cousin, gnocchi. I make a lot of things from ricotta though (pancakes, cheesecake, mousse, stuffings/fillings). I think many people are learning how to cook with ricotta because it is a healthier substitute for many dishes.

                        Maybe more people make it at home, rather in restaurants because it doesn't hold up as well as gnocchi? Being more delicate? I sure wish it was a choice on a menu for when I want something lighter!

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: sedimental
                          z
                          zackly Feb 16, 2014 10:37 AM

                          I'm diabetic so it's a better choice than pasta at least carbohydrate wise. Do you use a specific recipe with exact quantities or just eyeball it? Do you poach it in plain water or stock and for how long? I let mine cook too long/too high just now and the dumplings really expanded in size but I liked it.

                          1. re: zackly
                            s
                            sedimental Feb 16, 2014 11:06 AM

                            I hardly ever make the same thing twice. The trick with Gnudi for me, is to drain the ricotta first, being generous with the flour for rolling them in, then keep them cold in the fridge, sitting in the flour all day, before boiling ( well, simmering them). It keeps them together and forms a little crust for the soft interior to sit in.

                            I have boiled them in all kinds of liquid. I typically just simmer in salt water because my sauces are flavor packed enough. I just simmer until they pop up and look puffy, only a minute or two.

                          2. re: sedimental
                            monavano Feb 16, 2014 10:51 AM

                            Can gnudi be made and shaped ahead of time, and stored on a covered baking sheet until cooking in water?

                            1. re: monavano
                              s
                              sedimental Feb 16, 2014 11:14 AM

                              I make them ahead and store them in the flour (in the fridge). They will get sticky if you don't store them in flour.

                              1. re: sedimental
                                monavano Feb 16, 2014 11:16 AM

                                Do you mean rolled in flour vs covered? Do you cover with plastic to store?

                                Thanks

                                1. re: monavano
                                  s
                                  sedimental Feb 16, 2014 11:26 AM

                                  Yes. After making it, I roll them in flour on a platter, and keep them on the platter (with plenty of flour over them) in the fridge until I am ready to simmer them. If you just hold them on a cookie sheet without extra flour, they stick to it,well.... mine do. I cover with plastic or leave bare to firm up.
                                  Extra flour on the outside doesn't make them tough like adding flour to the dough does.

                                  1. re: sedimental
                                    monavano Feb 16, 2014 11:29 AM

                                    I never would have thought to store gnudi this way. Very helpful!

                                    1. re: sedimental
                                      z
                                      zackly Feb 16, 2014 12:11 PM

                                      You must make your's smaller than mine if they cook that quick. I make mine about the size & shape of a chicken egg. Are your's small like gnocchi? Mine take about ten minutes to cook @ a gentle simmer. I've never shaped them beforehand then refrigerated but I do sometime store the whole batch in the refrigerator for several hours then shape them with a large spoon, like a quenelle, dropping them right into the poaching liquid. If I had to quantify my recipe I use about one large egg per cup of ricotta, about 1oz. (by volume) grated parm or romano and enough flour to get it to a moist dough consistency, just enough flour so it holds its shape. Does that sound similar to your method?

                                      1. re: zackly
                                        s
                                        sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 12:18 PM

                                        I use a tbsp flour to a cup of ricotta. No egg usually.

                                        I make them gnocci-sized

                                        1. re: zackly
                                          s
                                          sedimental Feb 16, 2014 03:05 PM

                                          For all my Gnudi peeps...
                                          Okay, that sounds weird....
                                          Here is my Gnudi day today (so far) in the kitchen....keep in mind I am making a ton of prep stuff for the week (so I am a bit of a mess).

                                          I drained the ricotta (several hours, always) then make the dough....change of plan about spinach...made pecorino parsley instead. my corgi waits in the next room for the word..."oooops"....she is essential to keep me on task...she loves pecorino :)

                                          Then I roll the dough in flour and put it in the fridge to wait until I am going to cook it. I use the "two spoon" method for rolling.
                                          I made some chicken meatballs (in about the same size as the Gnudi) to serve with. Delish.

                                          I save a " test piece" of dough to see if the texture and spice is okay. It got dropped into a soup stock simmering on the stove...multi tasking and all that....It was pronounced. "Perfect" while eaten plain.

                                          Looking forward to my Sunday dinner italian meal :)

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: sedimental
                                            kattyeyes Feb 16, 2014 03:32 PM

                                            Love this and your little dog, too! :D

                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                              s
                                              sedimental Feb 16, 2014 04:01 PM

                                              Lol. Thanks. She follows behind me and really cleans up after me in the kitchen......what MORE could you ask for in a family member? Seriously!

                                              1. re: sedimental
                                                s
                                                sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 08:05 PM

                                                I have a Corgi and an Airedale at my ankles when I cook. Floor is cleaner than my cutting board.

                                  2. re: monavano
                                    s
                                    sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 11:55 AM

                                    Storage in flour is a key step... for 24 to 48 hrs. The wet gnudi binds a layer of flour on the surface that makes it tough enough to withstand simmering.

                                    I put them in a big deli container (or an empty ricotta container) with a layer of AP flour on the bottom...add a layer of gnudi...add more flour etc etc.

                                    After simmering you can either sauce and serve...or brown in butter in a pan. Both are great.

                                2. s
                                  sal_acid Feb 16, 2014 10:19 AM

                                  I make it occasionally. Should make it more often. Good stuff.

                                  When I see it on menus it is typically not labelled gnudi, but rather ricotta dumpling, or even gnocci.

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