Ricotta gnocchi, or gnudi, are a real treat and so much simpler to prepare than potato gnocchi. The addition of ricotta in place of potato yields a much more luxurious and cloud-like fluffy bite. Tossed in the simplest of tomato sauces and served with a mountain of grated parmesan, this dish might seem understated but can please just about anyone (perfect for to impress your date, friends or visiting family members). If you're not a fan of Pomodoro sauce, try gnudi with a kale and pistachio pesto, brown butter, sage, and prosciutto, or even a butternut squash "alfredo".
For the Gnudi:
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup freshly fine-grated parmesan
1/4 cup freshly fine-grated pecorino romano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the Pomodoro Sauce:
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano preferred
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Granulated sugar, to taste
In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, egg yolk, grated cheese, pepper, salt, and nutmeg until combined. Stir in the all-purpose flour until just combined, and forms a ball (expect to see pieces of ricotta throughout the dough).
Line a baking sheet with all-purpose flour and using two soup spoons make quenelles, or football shapes, out of the gnudi dough (between each quenelle, run both spoons under warm, but not hot water, and dry thoroughly). If not cooking the gnudi straight away, dust the tops with more all-purpose flour and store in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
Cook gnudi in a pot of salted boiling water for 5-6 minutes and drain.
In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the grated garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes and taste. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and sugar if necessary. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
Serve the gnudi with the pomodoro sauce and plenty of grated parmesan cheese.