Spinach Ravioli Gnudi in Balsamic Mushroom Sauce

Heidi Hoerman


Basically, balls of parmesan and ricotta cheese, gnudi are naked ravioli -- the filling without the pasta. They are lighter than gnocchi, rich and creamy, and are delicious served with a tangy sauce.

These spinach gnudi are poached and served in a puddle of creamy mushroom-balsamic sauce. The richness of the cheese and cream is balanced by the balsamic vinegar.

Most of the time to prepare the dish is simply wait time -- draining and cooling. Actual preparation time is less than an hour.

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2 as a one-dish dinner, 4 as a lunch dish, 8 as an appetizer. Double sauce if feeding 4 or more.


2 Hr 15 Min


15 Min


Stove Top



1 lb
ricotta cheese
1 bag(s)
spinach, pre-washed (or well-washed fresh or thawed frozen)
2 large
egg yolks
2 oz
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
white pepper
1/2 tsp
nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 c
all purpose flour + additional for dusting


3 Tbsp
olive oil
6-8 oz
crimini mushrooms (baby bellas), sliced
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
pepper (white or black)
1 large
shallot, minced
2 clove
garlic, minced
1/4 c
balsamic vinegar
1/4 c
heavy cream


2 gal
water (approx.)
1 Tbsp
2 Tbsp
2 Tbsp
olive oil

Directions Step-By-Step

To make the gnudi:
Drain the ricotta in a fine sieve for at least two hours.
Cook spinach until wilted, allow to cool, squeeze until quite dry, and chop.

For bagged spinach, follow directions on package. For bunch spinach, discard stems, wash thoroughly, and cook, covered, until wilted in the microwave or stovetop. Thoroughly thaw frozen spinach.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ricotta, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the spinach and cheese. Divide the flour and stir in two additions to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
Make 16 to 20 floured gnudi. Scoop out 1/8th cup of the gnudi mixture and quickly roll into a ball. Drop the ball into a bowl of flour and roll to coat on all sides. Shake off excess flour. Place gnudi, spread out so they do not touch, on a parchment-lined or lightly oiled tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To prepare the sauce:
In a medium large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and shallot and continue to saute another two minutes or until mushrooms have reduced in size by half.
Add balsamic vinegar boil until thickened, about 3 minutes. Turn down heat and add cream. Stir until it forms a thick sauce. Remove from heat while gnudi cook.
To Serve:
Fill a pan, large enough to cook the gnudi in a single layer without touching, with at least 3 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring the water to a simmer. Gently place the gnudi in the water. Gently move each to make sure they do not stick to the bottom or each other. Simmer until they float.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon or spider, gently place the cooked gnudi in the butter and oil. Roll until coated.
Stir 1/4 cup of the gnudi cooking water into the sauce to loosen it. Return to heat if needed to bring to serving temperature.
Spoon the mushrooms and sauce into individual bowls. Place buttered and oiled gnudi in the sauce. Serve.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy