Nettle gnudi with wild pesto

Nettle gnudi with wild pesto

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 15 mins plus 4 hrs draining and 12-24 hrs chilling

More effort

Serves 4
These Italian dumplings are like light balls of ricotta gnocchi, or the filling for ravioli - use freshly foraged nettles for a simple sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal688
  • fat33g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre3g
  • protein29g
  • salt0.7g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 x 250g tubs good-quality ricotta



    Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from whey and traditionally a by-product of…

  • 200g young nettle leaves (foraged - see tip)
  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), plus extra to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 2 egg yolks
  • nutmeg, for grating



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 350g semolina flour or fine semolina
  • 6 tbsp wild pesto (see recipe in Goes well with)



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.



  1. Line a sieve with a piece of muslin and set over a bowl. Tip in the ricotta, gather up the ends of the muslin and gently tie together. Leave to drain for 4 hrs or preferably overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Blanch the nettle leaves quickly, then drain and chill under the cold tap. Thoroughly drain again, and squeeze out as much water from the leaves as you can, then very finely chop and chill until needed.

  3. To make the gnudi, transfer the strained ricotta to a large bowl. Beat a little, then add all but a few tbsp of the Parmesan, the egg yolks, nettles, a good grating of nutmeg and plenty of seasoning. Give it a good stir to combine. Tip the semolina into a large baking tray (it will need to fit in your fridge later). Wet your hands, dip them in the semolina and, working quickly, scoop 1 heaped tsp of the ricotta mixture into your hands and gently roll into a ball. Place the ball on the semolina tray and roll around so that it is completely coated. Pick it up and roll between the palms of your hands to create a smooth ball, then put back in the semolina. Continue with the rest of the mixture – you should have about 28 balls in total. Leaving the balls in the semolina, make sure that they are well spaced, then cover loosely with cling film. Chill for 12-24 hrs – the longer the better – until a skin has formed on the gnudi.

  4. To cook, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, spoon the pesto into a frying pan. Once the water is boiling, drop in batches of the gnudi and simmer for 2-3 mins or until they rise to the surface. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a sieve. Repeat with the remaining gnudi. Heat the pesto in the pan with a few tbsp of the gnudi cooking water, to loosen it. Tip the cooked gnudi into the frying pan and gently turn the balls in the pesto. Divide between plates and scatter over the remaining Parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper before serving.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?