Ricotta Gnudi With Sage And Garlic Butter Recipe

At first glance, it'd be pretty easy to mistake a plate of gnudi for gnocchi — the two foods look remarkably similar in appearance, and they're typically served in similarly savory contexts as well. The distinction between the two lies in what they're made of: Potatoes make up the bulk of gnocchi, whereas gnudi are made with ricotta cheese. This classic Italian gnudi with sage and garlic butter recipe — courtesy of developer Catherine Brookes — is sure to delight anyone who enjoys the intersection of ricotta and dumplings.

"I love the soft, pillowy texture of the gnudi and the super flavorful butter," Brookes says. "This dish feels rich and decadent and is a fun one to make too!" Brookes goes on to explain that gnudi have a texture that is similar to gnocchi, while having a taste that is "more rich and creamy." Paired with a sage- and garlic-infused butter sauce and topped with fresh Parmesan, this gnudi recipe is a masterclass in from-scratch goodness and is actually much simpler to make than it may appear.

Gather the ingredients for ricotta gnudi with sage and garlic butter

As we've covered, ricotta cheese will make up the bulk of the these gnudi, along with egg yolks, flour, salt, and cornstarch. As for the sage and garlic butter, you'll need unsalted butter, crushed garlic, and fresh sage leaves. Finally, you may want some fresh grated Parmesan cheese to top off the whole dish — optional, but highly recommended. 

Remove moisture from the ricotta

Ricotta is a soft, moist cheese, and that's typically a good thing — but when it comes to making gnudi, we're going to want to drain that excess moisture out. While you could use a cheesecloth to squeeze out some of the liquid, Brookes has another handy solution. 

Grab a large plate and layer some paper towels onto it, then spread the ricotta on top. Layer on more paper towels, then place another plate (or heavy object) on top to squish everything down, as you would when pressing tofu. Leave the ricotta to drain for about 30 minutes, during which time the paper towels will absorb all of that extra liquid. "Pressing as much moisture as possible out of the ricotta is a key step here, as the mixture may otherwise become soggy," Brookes explains.

Make the gnudi

Now that the ricotta has sufficiently drained, go ahead and add it to a large bowl along with the egg yolks. Use a wooden spoon to combine the 2 ingredients, then mix in the flour, salt, and cornstarch. You should have a soft, moist, and malleable dough, which you can go ahead and shape into a ball with your hands.

Still working with your hands, break off about 1-inch chunks of dough and roll them into little dumplings or ball shapes. Once you've rolled out all of the gnudi, place them on a plate and set them aside for a bit as you work on the garlic butter sauce.

Make the sage and garlic butter sauce

Place a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and add in the butter, allowing it to fully melt. Follow that up with crushed garlic and chopped sage, cooking and continuously stirring for 2 minutes, or until the butter is just beginning to brown. At that point, remove the sauce from heat and set aside. 

Cook the gnudi

Much like fresh pasta, these fresh gnudi cook at record speed. Simply bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add in the gnudi, cooking for just 2-3 minutes or until the dumplings float to the surface. Drain the gnudi and portion them out into serving bowls. 

Top the gnudi off with the sage garlic butter sauce

Spoon the sage garlic butter sauce onto the bowls of gnudi, optionally garnish with fresh Parmesan, then dive right into the savory goodness. "It's great served with just the garlic sage butter and some Parmesan, but you could also add a sauce, if desired, such as a creamy mushroom or tomato sauce," Brookes suggests. "Or you could add some meat and veggies such as sausage and broccoli."

Due to the from-scratch nature of the dish, it's best to enjoy the gnudi fresh, though Brookes does note that leftovers can be kept in the fridge up to 2 days and reheated in the microwave. (That said, something tells us that these pillowy, cheesy little delights won't make it to the leftover stage.)

Ricotta Gnudi With Sage And Garlic Butter Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
Unlike gnocchi, which are made from potatoes, gnudi are made with a base of ricotta cheese. Rich and pillowy, all they need to shine is a simple butter sauce.
Prep Time
Cook Time
gnudi and garlic butter sauce
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 10 ounces ricotta
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh grated Parmesan, for serving
  1. Squeeze as much moisture out of the ricotta as possible by lining a plate with several sheets of paper towels and spreading out the ricotta on top. Layer on more paper towels, then place another heavy plate on top to press it down. Leave for 30 minutes until the paper towels have absorbed plenty of excess liquid.
  2. Add the ricotta and egg yolks to a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and cornstarch and stir into a soft, moist dough. Shape into a ball with your hands.
  4. Break off chunks of the dough and roll into approximately 1-inch dumplings between your palms.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sage garlic butter sauce. Add the butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and sage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the butter is just starting to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the gnudi and boil for 2-3 minutes or until they have floated to the surface. Drain and transfer to your serving bowls of choice.
  8. Spoon the sage and garlic butter over the gnudi. Top with some Parmesan, if desired, and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 445
Total Fat 32.9 g
Saturated Fat 19.8 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 197.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 0.4 g
Sodium 361.7 mg
Protein 11.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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