Ricotta Gnudi with Fava, Peas and Asparagus
These pillowy ricotta gnudi along with the vibrant green spring vegetables make for a delicious and comforting supper.
By: Vy Tran of Beyond Sweet and Savory
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- 1 cup sheep's-milk or other whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- ½ freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- Vegetable sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 ounces Pancetta, diced
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2 inch batons
- ¾ cup podded fava beans
- ½ cup shelled English peas
- ½ cup morel mushroom
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Extra Parmesan for serving
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and generously dust with flour.
- To make the gnudi, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and egg in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and, using a spoon, gently mix in the flour, taking care not to overmix (which could result in tough dumplings). Refrigerate ricotta mixture for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Generously dust a work surface with all-purpose flour and turn the ricotta mixture out onto it. Gently knead the dough with floured hands. If it seems very wet and sticky, work in 2 tablespoons of flour at a time, gently folding it over and continuing to dust it until you form a dough. You should get a 14-oz dough ball. Divide the dough in half.
- With a floured bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the center of the dough and pressing lightly with your fingers, roll each portion into a 3/4-by-12-inch rope, gently pulling and stretching the dough as you roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Dust the top of the gnudi with more flour and transfer the prepared baking sheet to the fridge. Let the gnudi sit in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
- To prepare the vegetable sauce, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shelled fava beans and cook for 1-3 minutes depending on the size of the fava beans. Transfer the cooked fava beans into a bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process. Remove the cap at the top of the fava bean and slip each bean out of its waxy coating.
- To blanch the asparagus, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the cooked asparagus into a bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and pancetta and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add fava beans, asparagus, peas, and morels, to the pan tossing occasionally, until slightly softened, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Cook butter in a heavy large saute pan over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
- To cook the gnudi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and turn the heat down to medium so the water is simmering. Gently drop the gnudi into the pot. Cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes.
- As the gnudi float to the top, use a slotted spoon to transfer them directly into the pan with brown butter. Cook the gnudi for 2 minutes on each side until they form a golden crust.
- Transfer the vegetables to the pan with browned ricotta gnudi and toss until combined.
- When ready to serve divide gnudi and sauce among shallow bowls and top with extra Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.