A few months ago I tried Gnudi for the first time at the Dock Kitchen and fell in love. Stevie Parle’s Agretti Gnudi were incredible, just so good that they stayed imprinted in my culinary memory. So when Stevie tweeted the recipe a few weeks ago I decided I should try recreate them.
And what better chance than a rainy and cold
I had to somehow customise Stevie’s recipe. Not able to order agretti, I opted for fresh, British broad beans, this being the first change in my ‘version’. I am also sure that Stevie would not have used Waitrose ‘Essential’ ricotta, which actually turned out to be a good choice as it was pretty dry and solid.
I also amended the quantities and improvised as I was making this dish for myself only rather than for 6 as the original recipe. I blanched the peas (frozen, again this being my liberty) and mashed them in the drained ricotta, with grated parmesan, pepper, salt and a bit of nutmeg (I liked the idea).
I then lay them in a bowl with semolina coming up to about a third of their sides… and this was possibly the main mistake I made… but unfortunately Stevie’s warning tweet about covering them completely came as I was out trying pulled port from Pitt Cue on the South Bank!
Dinner time arrived and I blanched the broad beans (removing the harder outer pod) and some frozen peas. I drained them and put them back in the pan with a bit of Umbrian olive oil, a proper olive oil present from my expert sister.
I then boiled a pan of water and carefully put the gnudi one at the time in the water, with a pierced ladle… and waited. Slowly, after a few minutes, one by one they came bobbing to the surface, still intact. I breathed with relief! I carefully picked them up and put them in a warm bowl, poured some olive oil over them, the peas and the beans and some grated parmesan.
They were actually very nice – although not as good as Stevie’s of course. Not enough outer layer, I think, on mine – so definitely will need to cover them completely next time, yet I am pleased by the result of my first attempt at this Tuscan tradition.
125g tub of ricotta
A handful of frozen peas
A bit more than a handful of fresh, podded, broad beans
2 table spoons of freshly grated parmesan
125gr of semolina
A sprinkle of nutmeg
A glug of proper olive oil