Naturally Gluten-Free Naked Ravioli: Gnudi Toscani


Did it ever occur to you to see a picture or read a recipe of a dish and longing to make it but never finding the right time, or the right conjunction of stars, to get it done? Gnudi has been just like that to me. I had them in mind for one maybe even two years and, for some reason, I have been hesitant to break the ice with such a simple, and yet totally delectable, Italian specialty.

One can imagine how overjoyed I am now for having finally made my first gnudi. They are super easy and quick to make (preparation takes no more than 15 minutes including cooking). And are so delicious with a simple basil tomato sauce that I had to tell myself “slow down!”. A perfect dish to pamper yourself and your guests with.

A few more notes: Gnudi have become popular only recently after having been included in the  menu of a fancy NY restaurant. They are shaped like gnocchi but are made of an equal proportion of ricotta cheese and fresh spinach like ravioli. That’s why they are called “ravioli nudi”, naked ravioli. There are different version of gnudi. In some areas of Central Italy  flour is combined to the dough to help keeping the gnocchi-like rounds together. I prefer though the Tuscan version of this dish, which uses flour only to coat the gnudi. If rice flour rather than wheat flour is used for coating, here you go, you have a 100% gluten-free home-made gnocchi. And if you, like me, are trying to keep a balance between carbs and proteins in your diet, you may like to know that this vegetarian dish is also very low in carbs. (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE)




Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes

250 g (ca 9 oz) ricotta (drained)

250 g (ca 9 oz) fresh spinach (cooked, drained and chopped)

1 small egg (or 1 egg white of a larger egg)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 or 2 tablespoon of rice flour (optional, to add to the batter if it looks too soft)

rice flour for coating

Instructions: The key to perfect and quick to make gnudi is to prepare ahead the ricotta and the spinach. The ricotta can be placed in a colander and covered in the fridge to drain and the spinach can be sauteed and squeezed ahead as well.


Once you have all the ingredients ready, just combine all together, adding rice flour if you find the batter too soft, and then spoon little amounts of batter on a rice floured surface. You can use a teaspoon to do this. While you bring the cooking water to a boil, roll the batter spoonfuls into the flour and then drop into the boiling water. When the gnudi emerge on the surface of the water, boil a further 1 minute and then gently drain with a skimmer. Combine with hot tomato sauce and serve.


CONSIDERATIONS: Easy, home-made, scrumptious, healthy… it does not really get much better than this.


With this dish I participate to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Mangiare e’ come viaggiare.

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  1. Whoa. Just whoa. It’s been a while since my last visit and I missed the redesign! It looks great. :) I even checked the address to make sure I had come to the right place!

    These little gnudi look lovely! I had never heard of them until now. Thanks for postinf them. I love learning about new foods!

    • hi Erin, not easy to keep up with all of us… I also have not been checking you regularly but I have seen now and then that you keep on doing amazing stuff. thank you so much for the visit and for all the positive feed-back. I have just started to update the site, more is coming…

  2. belli ……. non li conoscevo ….appena ho letto il tuo twet mi sono informato e mi è venuta subito voglia…….ieri ho fatto gli gnocchi anche per il principe…….apprezzati
    Oro proverò gli gnudi

    • la principessa ancora non li ha assaggiati ma dovrebbero essere ok per il principe… tutti ingredienti semplici e digeribili… a parte gli spinaci… non ricordo da che eta’ li raccomandano per i bimbi

  3. These look yummy! I will make them soon. Thank you for such lovely pictures and easy to follow directions.

  4. Naked ravioli, I love it! So simple but I can tell just by looking at it, so delicious. Thanks for this recipe Barbara :)

  5. Love the name: naked ravioli! I have to admit I’ve never heard of gnudi before reading your post. It sounds so interesting, especially since I am in love with ravioli and make “clothed” ravioli all the time.

  6. I just had to share these with a gluten intolerant friend as they look AMAZING! Kudos on making gorgeous little spheres of happiness. I am going to veganise these with tofu and besan flour and home grown spinach and will use them as little tasty floaties in some good homemade soup tonight :) . Cheers for the wonderful recipe and the great idea :)

  7. I have those recipes that nag me forever, too… :-) It’s such a relief to finally make them and stop thinking about them :-) I have made this recipe before though but I had no idea they were called gnudi… :-P I just called them Ricotta Gnocchi… hahaha… Anyways, I love how light and fluffy they taste and less or no gluten is a huge plus. Your pictures make me hungry! Incredibly hungry! I think I have to make these ‘gnudi’ again soon.

  8. gli gnudi….. mi fai venire voglia di farli anche a me….porca miseria, se non smetto di cucinare diventerò un maialino da prosciutto…. :O) io li faccio senza uovo e senza farina…. li passo nell’albume leggermente sbattuto per non farli disintegrare in acqua, vecchia ricetta di mia disnonna… con la noce moscata…. su, falla finita di fare queste cose che altrimenti ti devo ricopiare!!!!!
    baci grossi

  9. Ma che belli!! Questi li avevo provati a fare tempo fa ma senza successo. Mi erano venuti duri ed erano immangiabili. Penso io abbia sbagliato nelle dosi. Grazie per la tua ricetta, i tuoi mi ispirano proprio, devo riprovare! Ciao!

  10. Oh my goodness…these look so delicious and gorgeous. A feast for the eyes and mouth! What a lovely recipe…I can’t wait to try this. So perfect for spring!

  11. I am terrified they would fall apart…. Maybe I should try to make them too!
    Oh and great restyling (have been absent a while I know…)

  12. When I make ricotta, I often use it to make gnocchi di ricotta, which are very popular with my husband. I never thought about making gnudi. Yours look very nice!

  13. Ciao Barbara, questi gnudi toscani ricordano tanto questi gnocchi di ricotta e spinaci caratteristici della zona di Macerata!

  14. Questi vanno direttamente nel mio menu cara Barbara…ravioli nudi..che fantastica idea!

  15. Carol Tucker says:

    Is there any chance you can make these ahead of time .
    Having dinner party and hoping they can.

    • sure you can. if you cook them within a day or two, keep them in the fridge, placed in trays coated with rice flour (without piling them on one another) and covered with plastic foil. I don’t know how they would behave if frozen… good luck!

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