Ricotta Gnudi, Peas and Pancetta

Recipe by Tobie Puttock

Serves four.

  • 350g fresh ricotta
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 60g freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/3 cup of plain flour
  • 2 handfuls of peas or broad beans, blanched and podded
  • 12 slices of pancetta cut into match sticks
  • 80g butter
  • 8 mint leaves
  • Small handful flat leaf parsley leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • Extra pecorino for grating
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Best quality balsamic
  • Semolina flour for dusting
  1. Pop the ricotta into a sieve lined with kitchen paper sitting over a large bowl and allow to sit in the fridge for about an hour to remove excess moisture.
  2. Place the ricotta into a large mixing bowl and fold in the egg, pecorino, nutmeg, and half the flour. Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together and then season with salt to taste. Cover and place in the fridge for around 30 mins to allow to harden.
  3. Remove the ricotta mixture from the fridge and dust a clean bench with a little bit of the leftover flour and a little semolina flour. Take a handful of the ricotta mixture and roll it out into a sausage shape around the width of a ten-cent piece.
  4. Repeat for the remainder of the mixture and then cut each roll into 2cm lengths to form little pillows. Repeat for the rest of the mixture. If the gnudi feel at all sticky dust them with a little extra semolina flour.
  5. Bring a large pot filled with water to the boil with a good pinch of salt.
  6. In a large non-stick pan cook the pancetta over a medium heat to render the fat down a little, once the pancetta becomes crispy remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. If there is a lot of fat remaining in the pan drain it off.
  7. Melt the butter in the pan over a low/ medium heat.
  8. Gently drop the gnudi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 15 seconds.
  9. Remove your ricotta gnudi with a slotted spoon and transfer to the pan and gently shake the pan around to toast the gnudi, use a small spatula to flip the gnudi as they become golden. As the butter becomes golden in color reduce the heat of the pan.
  10. Add two tablespoons of pasta water to the pan; add peas, mint, crispy pancetta and some cracked pepper.
  11. Serve your ricotta gnudi immediately with grated pecorino and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

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