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italian gnudi cut in the middle

Gnudi – Ricotta Dumplings in Tomato Sauce

Tender gnudi or ricotta dumplings in tomato sauce with lots of olive oil and garlic – Italian food at its best.
Course Pasta and Rice
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 734kcal
Author Adina


  • Tomato sauce:
  • 125 ml/ 4.2 fl.oz/ ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 800 g/ 28 oz tomato puree pomodoro passato or 2 cans of tomatoes (400 g / 14 oz each)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • Gnudi about 30:
  • 500 g/ 17.6 oz/ 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 65 g/ 2.3 oz/ ⅝ cup Parmesan freshly grated
  • 70 g/ 2.4 oz/ ½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour + approximately the same amount extra flour
  • about ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground


  • If you have the time, drain the ricotta for several hours. I drained mine for 2 hours.

Tomato sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Finely chop the garlic and cook it in the oil until it starts to change its color and becomes fragrant.
  • If using canned tomatoes, puree them first. If using already pureed tomatoes, carefully pour them into the saucepan. Add about ½ teaspoon sugar, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes. Add more sugar, if necessary, and salt to taste.


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare the gnudi during the time the water needs to come to a boil.
  • Place the ricotta, the lightly beaten egg and egg yolk, Parmesan, 70 g/ ½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir very well until some kind of ball is formed. Gradually add some of the extra flour, one tablespoon at a time.
  • I measured the extra 70 g/ ½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in a separate bowl and I was left with 2 tablespoons extra flour. If you didn't drain the ricotta at all, you might need all the extra flour. If you drained the ricotta for longer than two hours, you might need even less than I did. The dough should feel a little resistant and should hold its shape when you try to form a gnudi.
  • Dust a large baking tin generously with flour. Form the gnudi with the help of two tablespoons. Scoop about ¾ tablespoon dough and remove it from the first spoon with the help of the second spoon. Repeat 2 or 3 times more until you have a nicely formed gnudi. Place the formed gnudi into the floured baking dish.


  • When the water boils, add some salt and turn the heat down to allow the water to come to a simmer. Do not let the water boil at any time while the gnudi are in the water.
  • Cook the gnudi in two batches. The gnudi will rise to the top rather quickly, but they need about 5-6 minutes of cooking time. They are ready when they are cooked through, don't look doughy anymore and the inside is soft and fluffy. Remove the gnudi from the water with a slotted spoon and let them drain well in a sieve. Cook the second batch.
  • Serve the gnudi with the sauce and more Parmesan.
  • The gnudi can be made in advance and reheated in simmering water or in the sauce. They can also be frozen and added (still frozen) directly to the hot water. Leave in the hot water until fully reheated.



Serving: 1/4 of the dish | Calories: 734kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 1040mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g