350g good-quality ricotta 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated, plus extra to serve
1 egg yolk
nutmeg, finely grated
225g fine semolina or semolina flour
16 small sage leaves
1 heaped tbsp pine nuts, toasted salad, to serve (we like rocket & red onion)
Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or a new J-cloth and place over a bowl. Tip the ricotta into the cloth, then gather up the ends, secure with an elastic band and leave to drain for 4 hrs.
Transfer the drained ricotta to a bowl. Beat in the parmesan, egg yolk and a good grating of nutmeg, and season well. Add the semolina to a baking dish or large plastic container. Wet your hands, dip them in the semolina and, working quickly, scoop 1 heaped tsp of the ricotta mix into your hands and gently roll into a ball (don’t worry if it’s not perfect). Place the ball in the semolina dish and roll around so that it is totally covered, then pick it up, shape it into a smooth ball between the palms of your hands and pop back into the semolina. Continue with the rest of the mixture – you should make about 24 balls. Leave the balls in the dish of semolina, cover with baking parchment (not cling film) and chill in the fridge for at least 12 hrs (although 24 hrs is better) so that the balls of ricotta form a skin around the outside.
When ready to serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, gently add half the gnudi and cook for 2-3 mins – when they’re ready they will float to the top. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a sieve, then cook the other half. 4 Slowly melt the butter in a small frying pan. Add the sage leaves, making sure they don’t overlap, and sizzle until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. If the butter has turned a nutty brown, remove from the heat; if not, continue to bubble until lightly browned. Divide the gnudi between warmed plates, drizzle over the browned butter, top with the sage and pine nuts, and serve with some parmesan, black pepper and a salad.