Recipe: Elien Lewis’ Silverbeet Gnudi

These green-speckled ricotta dumplings are like gnocchi’s rustic cousins.

Recipe: Elien Lewis

The keys to this dish is ensuring as much liquid as possible is squeezed from the silverbeet before mixing and using the freshest, best-quality ricotta.


For the gnudi:
200g silverbeet, inner stalks removed
250g fresh ricotta
1 egg yolk
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1 cup semolina flour

For the sage butter sauce:
100g butter
a generous handful of fresh sage leaves
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup sliced almonds
salt and pepper, to taste


Tip the ricotta into a sieve and allow to drain for at least 30 minutes.

Wash the silverbeet and roughly shred the leaves. Wilt with a pinch of salt in a saucepan set over medium heat, then set aside to cool. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then chop roughly. Press to remove any remaining liquid and transfer to a bowl. Add the ricotta, egg yolk, parmesan, nutmeg, salt and a little black pepper. Mix well.

On a plate, spread a layer of semolina flour. Roll golf-ball-sized amounts of the ricotta mixture into balls (use damp hands), then roll them in the semolina flour to coat. Once all the balls have been covered, shake another generous layer of semolina flour over them to ensure they’re well coated.

Chill for at least 4 hours (and up to 3 days). The semolina flour helps to form a skin around the gnudi, which holds them together when cooking. The longer they sit, the thicker the skin will be.

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When you’re ready to cook the gnudi, bring a large pot of water to simmering point. Add salt, then cook the gnudi in batches of 4 to 6 at a time. They’re ready when they float to the surface. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. While the gnudi are cooking, set a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the butter and sage leaves, swirling the pan to crisp up the leaves as the butter melts and the milk solids start to caramelize. After 4 minutes, add the garlic and almonds.

Cook for another couple of minutes, or until the butter is brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and add the cooked gnudi. Toss gently to coat, then serve with grated parmesan.

Serves 4

Read more stories like these in our latest special edition, Sustainability Through the Seasons.


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