Spinach Gnudi with Lemon Sage Butter

I recently set about recreating the Gnudi I enjoy so much at Bouligny Tavern and was pleased with the results. This version is slightly heavier and without the fluffy texture of those being churned out by the kitchen at Bouligny. They are however rather tasty, especially with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a smear of lemon sage butter. You can happily boil or fry them, but to keep my kitchen clean and my time frame short, I simply baked them, leaving a crunchy brown exterior and a smooth, creamy interior.

Spinach Gnudi with Lemon Sage Butter (makes approximately 30 Gnudi)

For the Gnudi

4 cups spinach
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 lb ricotta
1 (generous) cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the spinach until just wilted. Drain and press as much water from the spinach as possible. Set aside on a paper towel and allow to continue to dry. In the meantime combine eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Roughly chop the spinach and add it the the mixture. Pour mixture into a large Ziploc bag and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

For the Lemon Sage Butter

1/2 stick unsalted butter
10 small sage leaves, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan melt the butter until bubbling. Add the sage, lemon juice and salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep while you prepare the gnudi.

Preheat the oven to 400F

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and cut a small slit in one corner of the Ziploc bag, thus creating a makeshift pastry bag. On a large cookie tray covered with parchment paper, pipe out individual gnudi about the size of a half dollar coin. You should be able to make about 30 dumplings. Just before you are ready to bake the gnudi brush the lemon sage butter onto each.

Bake the gnudi in a 400F oven for 10-12 minutes. Finish them briefly at a high broil in order to let them brown slightly. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan, a drizzle of the remaining butter, and perhaps some chopped basil.