These cute little guys, known as gnudi, are an Italian specialty but a well-kept secret. They're named gnudi, which means naked, because they are essentially naked ravioli - all the cheesy filling of a ravioli, minus the pasta shell.

Spinach and ricotta are the major flavors in this dish that works great as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish. Served with a generous spoonful of marinara sauce over top, gundi are totally worth the effort of making them. They're not on overly-labor-intensive dish but they do need to be hand-shaped, then closely watched as they boil away. But they pair perfectly with Italian dishes of all sorts, from a simple pasta course to a florentine chicken dish.

Since I pretty much stuck to the book for this recipe, I'll simply direct you to the source, Giadi De Laurentiis, rather than pasted it here. I saw her make these on her cooking show years ago when I was still relatively new to the kitchen. I successfully recreated the gnudi for my own family who loved them and frequently requested them again and again. They're now become a beloved dish within my own family. And after all, who doesn't love Italian food? Rich and flavorful tomato sauces, cheeses of all kinds, comforting pastas, and vegetables enhanced with silky olive oil and fragrant herbs - what's not to love?

Has anyone tried making or heard of gnudi before? How about any homemade pasta stories? I'd love to one day make my own ravioli, but the idea of making pasta by hand still creates a sense of dread in me. For now, I'll just stick to making my own naked ravioli filling in the form of gnudi!


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