Butter and Sage Gnudi

Gnudi is what gnocchi wants to be when it grows up. Gnudi are gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato, with very little or no flour. The result is often a lighter, “pillowy” dish, unlike the often denser, chewier gnocchi. Here’s our favourite gnudi paired with a butter-sage sauce.



  • 350g good-quality ricotta
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 225g fine semolina or semolina flour
  • 50g butter
  • 16 small sage leaves
  • 1 heaped tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Rocket & red onion salad, with balsamic dressing, to serve


  1. Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or a new J-cloth and place over a bowl. Tip the ricotta into the cloth, gently gather up the ends and secure with an elastic band. Leave the ricotta to drain for four hours.
  2. Transfer the drained ricotta to a clean bowl. Beat in the Parmesan, egg yolk, a good grating of nutmeg, then season well.
  3. Tip the semolina into a baking dish or large plastic container. Wet your hands, dip them in the semolina and, working quickly, scoop one heaped teaspoon of the ricotta mix into your hands and gently roll into a ball (don’t worry if it’s not perfect).
  4. Place the ball in the semolina dish and roll around so that it is totally covered. Pick it up and roll between the palms of your hands to create a smooth ball, then pop back into the semolina. Continue with the rest of the mixture. You should make about 24 balls.
  5. Once all the balls are formed and are sitting in the semolina, cover loosely with baking parchment (not cling film), put the dish in the fridge and leave to chill for at least 12 hours , although 24 hrs is better – this is so the balls of ricotta form a skin around the outside.
  6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat and gently lower the gnudi into the pan. Once they float to the surface, they’re cooked. Strain water.
  7. Melt butter in a frying pan and add gnudi and pine nuts to butter. Fry for at least five minutes, rolling the gnudi to cook evenly. It is important to add the sage leaves at the last minute to ensure that their essential oils are released.
  8. Serve with salad.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.


By Shawn Greyling

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