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Beetroot Gnudi

Gnudi is a dish local to Palermo, a city in Sicily, Italy. The name means ‘undressed’ and describes a kind of ricotta dumpling that would ordinarily be wrapped in pasta as a ravioli, but instead is presented ‘nude’.


110 min Cooking Time | Serves 5

For the cake:

  • 400g red beetroot, peeled and diced

  • Salt and pepper to season

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup goats cheese or fresh curd

  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting*

  • semolina flour for dusting

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup pepe saya butter

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • Clove of garlic, diced

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Place the diced beetroot in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and add the water. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and roast until the beetroot can be easily pierced with a skewer (40 minutes).

  3. Remove from the oven, uncover, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, place in a blender or the bowl of a food processor and combine with the egg. Process until very smooth.

  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1-1/2 cups of the beet purée, the ricotta cheese, goats curd, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a few swipes of nutmeg, and 1 tbls salt.

  5. Mix with your hands or on medium speed until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the all-purpose flour and knead with your hands or on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix, as this will make the gnudi tough. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.

  6. Dust 1/2 cup all-purpose flour on the work surface, then scrape the dough from the bowl directly on top of the flour. Lightly dust the top of the dough with more all-purpose flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with semolina flour. Cut off a chunk of dough about the width of two fingers and leave the rest covered with plastic wrap. On a work surface very lightly dusted with all-purpose flour, use your hands to roll the chunk into a log about the width of your thumb. Cut the log into square shapes.

  8. Put the gnudi on the prepared baking sheets and shape the remaining dough. Make sure that the gnudi don’t touch or they will stick together.

  9. Bring a large pot filled with generously salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the gnudi and simmer until they float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towel.

  10. In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and the milk solids separate to the bottom of the pan and turn toasty, about 3 minutes. Add the gnudi and without stirring cook for a further 5mins to crisp up one side. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt and add the thyme and garlic.

  11. Serve immediately with a garnish of herbs (optional).

* Can replace with a gluten free flour mix. We like using a blend of millet and rice flours.

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