Saint Agur gnudi with sage butter sauce

Saint Agur blue cheese gnudi with sage butter sauce
  • Starter
  • easy
  • 6
  • 45 minutes, plus 12 hours to strain the ricotta and 12 more hours to dry out the gnudi

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Gnudi are an Italian ricotta-based gnocchi from Tuscany. Switching out potato for ricotta gives the dumplings a richer taste but fluffier texture than the slightly denser, chewier potato gnocchi. In a twist to the dish, we've added some creamy blue cheese to the mix which adds a delicious umami depth of flavour and pairs deliciously with the crispy sage butter sauce.

1
This dish is best prepared a day in advance. The morning before you plan to serve, place the ricotta in a muslin cloth or jay cloth and hang over a bowl to drain it of as much moisture as possible. You want the mix to be dry so it doesn’t fall apart as it cooks
2
The evening before cooking, make the gnudi so they can sit uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out further. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl (along with the strained ricotta) and mix together well. If the mixture is too wet to roll out, you can add more semolina flour, but try not to over work the mixture or you’ll get chewy gnudi
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3
Roll out the mixture into neat balls, around 12–15 grams each. Sit them in a tray scattered with semolina and leave in the fridge uncovered overnight
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4
Cook the gnudi in salted water at a gentle boil (a vigorous boil could cause the gnudi to fall apart). Cook in small batches as overcrowding the pan could also result in breaking the gnudi. Cook for around 1 minute, the gnudi will float to the top when ready
5
Store the cooked gnudi on a large lightly oiled plate or tray whilst you wait for them all to cook. They will cool slightly and firm up, which helps them stay together when frying in the next stage
6
In the meantime, melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Once foaming, add the sage leaves, and then the gnudi. The temperature should be high so you get a little colour on the dumplings, but not too hot to burnt the butter
7
Use a slotted spoon to serve up the gnocchi, then add a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt to the remaining butter sauce. Spoon over the sauce and divide up the crispy sage leaves between plates
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