Tuscany is famous for its traditional, fresh, simple and flavorful cuisine. We have planted a large vegetable garden, which provides us with fresh vegetables all year round, but with a noticeable boom in the spring. We are pleased to share with you recipes for various Tuscan dishes that we prepare with ingredients from our garden.
GNUDI OF FRESH RICOTTA AND SPINACH
This dish is light and vegetarian. It can go well as a first course or as a full meal accompanied by a fresh salad.
Also called “malfatti,” gnudi are light, insanely delicious and easy-to-prepare gnocchi. We use spinach but you could substitute it with chard. At this time in Tuscany we use fresh sheep’s milk ricotta. Cow or buffalo ricotta could also be used depending on availability.
For 8 people
1 kg of spinach leaves
500 g fresh sheep ricotta cheese
4 large organic eggs from free-range hens
¼ freshly grated nutmeg
50 g Parmesan cheese, plus extra for seasoning
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons “00”-type flour, plus extra for dusting
200 g of fine semolina flour
250 g unsalted butter, softened
A good dose of Montecalvi extra virgin olive oil
A bunch of fresh sage leaves
Cut the spinach stems and wash them thoroughly. Place the moist leaves in a pan over low heat and let them wilt, stirring constantly. Drain well. Chop finely and allow to cool. Beat the ricotta with a fork and add the chopped spinach. Add the eggs, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese and season. Gently add flour, and dust a tray with more flour.
Take a wine glass and dust it with semolina flour. Place a spoonful of the ricotta and spinach mixture in the glass and swirl it around until it takes shape. The gnudo should be well covered with semolina. Lay on floured tray. Heat a serving dish and add a knob of butter. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnudi into groups and cook until they float.
This will take about 5 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on the heated plate. Keep warm while you finish cooking all the gnudi. Slowly melt the remaining butter and extra-virgin olive oil in a thick-bottomed skillet over low heat; add the sage leaves and let them wilt and fade. Serve the gnudi with sage butter/oil and parmesan cheese.
We recommend this dish with a glass of Montecalvi Chianti Classico 2016.