Gnocchi

Beetroot Ricotta Gnudi in Sage & Butter

January 13, 2019 (Last Updated: January 14, 2019)

Beetroot Ricotta Gnudi in a Sage and Butter Sauce. These Italian dumplings look so impressive with their bright pink colour but don’t be fooled they’re super easy to whip up and are perfect for date night or a special occasion.

An overhead shot of beetroot ricotta gnudi on an oval plate with sage and butter

I mean, how cute are these beetroot ricotta gnudi?! The intense pink colour make them perfect for date night, Valentine’s Day or any special occasion when you want to impress and they are SO comforting.

They’re served in a super simple sage and butter sauce with a tiny amount of sea salt and garnished with fresh lemon zest. Simple food with a ton of flavour!

What are Gnudi?

Gnudi means naked in Italian (I know you giggled to yourself there). They’re pretty much a naked ravioli i.e the filling without the pasta but they’re mixed with a little flour and egg to make them extra light and fluffy Italian dumplings. They’re lightly poached in hot water until they rise to surface and then can be tossed with any sauce you like.

Gnudi Vs Gnocchi – What’s the Difference?

Gnudi and gnocchi are both forms of Italian dumplings but gnocchi are made with potatoes and gnudi are always made with ricotta as the base. They are both made with eggs, flour and seasonings such as parmesan and nutmeg.

When making gnocchi with potatoes you have to use the right variety of potato and be careful not to over knead the mixture or you can easily lose the light and fluffy texture.

I also have a recipe for ricotta gnocchi (no potato) which are just as easy to make as these gnudi but they are different. My ricotta gnocchi are made with more flour and rolled out into a dough, the end result is light but firm whereas these gnudi are super light and much softer.

How to Make Beetroot Ricotta Gnudi – Step By Step

Wrap the beetroot in foil. You can cut the stalks down to 2cm (about 1 inch) but don’t be tempted to cut more or peel the beetroot or it will bleed and you’ll lose the vibrant colour. Place the wrapped beetroot in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Carefully open the foil and let it cool.

The skins will come off very easily (you might want to use gloves) from the cooled beetroot, remove them and roughly chop the beetroot. Place in a food processor or use an immersion blender and blitz to a rough purée (photos 2-3).

Add the ricotta, egg, parmesan, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt and pepper to a glass bowl and mix to combine (photo 3).

Step by step photos for making beetroot ricotta gnudi

Add the pureed beetroot to the ricotta mixture and mix to combine (don’t worry if there are some small chunks of beetroot in it) photo 4.

Sift in the flour and mix to combine then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours (photo 7).

After the mixture has chilled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using wet hands (important) roll the gnudi into balls around 1 tbsp of mixture at a time and place on a plate or tray lightly dusted with flour (photo 8).

Top Tip: It’s important to wet your hands to shape the gnudi into balls and you want to be quick (just a few seconds). They are really soft so will stick to your hands if they aren’t wet, don’t be tempted to use flour they’ll just stick.

Place the gundi in boiling water, when they rise to the surface they’re done. Meanwhile melt butter in a frying pan until bubbly, add sage leaves and fry for a minute then add the cooked gnudi. Toss in the butter and serve with a grating of fresh lemon zest (photo 9).

Other Sauces to Serve Gnudi with

Sage and butter is a super simple sauce that’s incredibly delicious but if you’re maybe not a fan of sage you can toss the gnudi with whatever sauce you like. Here are some suggestions; if you go for a chunky sauce such as a meat ragu then I recommend shaping your gnudi into smaller balls (half the size).

A close up of beetroot ricotta gnudi on a white plate with sage and butter

Top Tips For Making Ricotta Gnudi

  • Beetroot will stain your hands when peeling the skin so wear gloves if you can.
  • Use unwaxed lemons for the zest.
  • If you leave the mixture for longer than 1-2 hours you might notice juice from the beetroot leaking out from the ricotta simply mix it back together to combine again.
  • Because the beetroot juice does separate I don’t recommend you shape the gnudi into balls in advance, do it just before cooking.
  • Always use wet hands when shaping the gnudi to stop them sticking to your hands
  • When the gnudi rise to the surface of the water they are ready. They take longer than store-bought gnocchi they’ll need around 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve the gnudi immediately when they are extra light and delicious. Leftovers won’t be as light.
  • You can easily double this recipe to serve more people.

More Gnudi and Gnocchi Recipes You Might Like:

If you’ve tried these Beetroot Ricotta Gnudi or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

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Beetroot Gnudi in Sage and Butter

Beetroot Ricotta Gnudi in a Sage and Butter Sauce. These Italian dumplings look so impressive with their bright pink colour but don't be fooled they're super easy to whip up and are perfect for date night or a special occasion.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
chilling time 1 hour
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 - 3 servings
Calories 376kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz (100g/about 1 medium sized ) raw beetroot skin still on
  • 8.8 oz (250g) 1 cup ricotta good quality
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (70g) flour
  • 1/3 cup (75g) parmesan freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 lemon zest unwaxed
  • Salt and pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1/3 cup (70g) butter
  • 5-6 sage leaves
  • lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  • Wrap the beetroot in foil. You can cut the stalks down to 2cm (about 1 inch) but don't be tempted to cut more or peel the beetroot or it will bleed and you'll lose the vibrant colour. Place the wrapped beetroot in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Carefully open the foil and let it cool.
  • The skins will come off very easily (you might want to use gloves) from the cooled beetroot, remove them and roughly chop the beetroot. Place in a food processor or use an immersion blender and blitz to a rough purée.
  • Add the ricotta, egg, parmesan, nutmeg, lemon zest and a good pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Add the pureed beetroot to the ricotta mixture and mix to combine (don't worry if there are some small chunks of beetroot in it).
  • Sift in the flour and mix to combine then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • After the mixture has chilled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using wet hands (important) roll the gnudi into balls around 1 tbsp of mixture at a time and place on a plate or tray lightly dusted with flour.
  • Place the gundi in boiling water, when they rise to the surface they're done. Meanwhile melt butter in a frying pan until bubbly, add sage leaves and fry for a minute then add the cooked gnudi. Toss in the butter and serve with a grating of fresh lemon zest and a small sprinkling of salt.

Notes

  • Beetroot will stain your hands when peeling the skin so wear gloves if you can.
  • Use unwaxed lemons for the zest.
  • If you leave the mixture for longer than 1-2 hours you might notice juice from the beetroot leaking out from the ricotta simply mix it back together to combine again.
  • Because the beetroot juice does separate I don't recommend you shape the gnudi into balls in advance, do it just before cooking.
  • Always use wet hands when shaping the gnudi to stop them sticking to your hands.
  • When the gnudi rise to the surface of the water they are ready. They take longer than store-bought gnocchi they'll need around 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve the gnudi immediately when they are extra light and delicious. Leftovers won't be as light.
  • You can easily double this recipe to serve more people.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 22.2% | Vitamin C: 10.9% | Calcium: 5.3% | Iron: 8.5%
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    August 30, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I love the colour, so pretty!

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