Dinner, Entrees

Gnudi with Tomato Sauce

A new recipe came across my radar a few months ago: gnudi. This past weekend we gave this recipe a try. What is gnudi you ask? Essentially it is a ‘naked’ pasta. It is a creamy, dreamy dish that is a snap to prepare! Read on!

Hazan Tomato SauceI started out by making a ‘quick’ tomato sauce. I used Marcella Hazan’s recipe: one can of whole peeled tomatoes, an onion peeled and halved, and some butter. Bring this to a simmer for 45 minutes, stir occasionally and break up the tomato pieces. Discard the onion and serve! I actually made the sauce the day before then gently reheated before we baked the gnudi.
Gnudi DoughRoll up your sleeves and let’s talk about the gnudi dough. Ricotta, parmesan cheese, an egg, egg yolk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. When I was researching this recipe it was mentioned to not over flour or overmix the dough. It was also mentioned to refrigerate the dough before shaping. I listened.
Mixed Gnudi Dough

 I let the dough chill out in the fridge for awhile. I had two options for cooking these dumplings. Shape them and simmer them or bake them. My Mom was visiting and mentioned she had great luck baking gnocchi. Always listen to your mother! We quickly and carefully shaped mini football sized dumplings and laid them on a light layer of sauce.

Baked Gnudi

 The pan was covered and the gnudi baked (and expanded) for 30 minutes. At that point we added on more tomato sauce and some grated parmesan cheese. Back into the oven it went, uncovered, for another 10 – 15 minutes until bubbly golden brown.

Gnudi with Tomato SauceThe results were fantastic! I had 32 dumplings total but only 28 fit in my pan. I will cook the last few in simmering water and update you on the results! The gnudi were very tender, light and a hearty meal without all of the pasta weighing it down. We simply served this with a large bowl of salad with avocado, dried cranberries, toasted candied walnuts, olives, and feta topped with a light lemon maple vinaigrette. Dessert was a fruit galette with a little raspberry gelato. This gnudi recipe is going into our regular dinner rotation here! I think it would be fun to add fresh spinach to gnudi dough. Or how about making your own herbed ricotta? Thanks for reading!

Gnudi with Tomato Sauce

Yield: 32 dumplings


  • Recipe slightly adapted by Lottie + Doof
  • 16 oz. whole milk ricotta (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Cups tomato sauce of your choosing
  • Extra parmesan cheese for serving, optional
  • Fresh basil for sprinkling, optional


  1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, egg yolk, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add in 1/2 cup of flour and gently mix in. Just before it is all mixed see if the dough is super sticky. If so, add another 1/4 cup of flour - again please do not overmix!
  3. Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350*. In a large pan (9" X 13") add a layer of tomato sauce.
  5. When you are ready to bake the gnudi: shape the dough into tablespoon sized little football shapes.
  6. Gently put these on top of the tomato sauce. Give them some space as they will expand a bit during baking. Cover the pan with foil and bake for a half hour.
  7. Uncover, add remaining sauce, sprinkle on some parmesan and bake, uncovered, for another 10 - 15 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Enjoy!

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