Citymeals and the Naughty Gnudi

Added on by Lisa Homa.

AS A SUPPORTER OF CITYMEALS-ON-WHEELS, I receive a monthly newsletter called “Food for Thought” which features different chef’s recipes. As a food stylist, a lot of recipes cross my plate in a day; most get deleted.

 This one caught my attention, though: a recipe for ramp gnudi.

For me, ramps evoke spring days pulling some of the first vegetables brave enough to rear their heads out of their sandy soil. Sure they’re a bit labor intensive to clean, but they’re tasty, and in early spring there’s not much competition out there. A recipe with ramps is a nod to warmer days and an end to this freak show of a winter.

Now that the recipe has my attention, I’m thinking, ‘What the hell are gnudi?’

I felt like I should know but I didn’t. Turns out to be a tasty little Tuscan gnocchi-type dumpling. And when I told my nine year old son, Ellis, what we were making the litany of jokes commenced, starting with “Do we have to eat these naked!”.

I have to tell you: these gnudi are so fabulously decadent, he would happily have eaten them naked, swaddled like a mummy, whatever.

This dumpling is largely goat cheese, parm and egg combined with a sauté made from the ramps, but I adapted the recipe to what I had. Though I might have gone a little gaga over the ramps, earlier, there were none in the larder so I substituted with the spring asparagus and shallots I had on hand.

I also added a bit of chicken stock creating a less rich pool of sauce for the gnudi to bath in. The dish was comforting yet sophisticated; delicate, not leaden. The goat cheese lent the flavor a slight tang that complemented the spring vegetable.

In my home, we enjoy our meals, though we tend to eat a little faster than we should. Inevitably, one of us will take a breath and utter the word “savor” like a meditative ohm – a reminder to slow down. In this case, I’m sorry to say, there was no savoring: the gnudi vanished as quickly as our third layer of clothes on that recent 60 degree day. 

And see the original recipe by Executive Chef Marco Moreira and Chef de Cuisine Jason Hall of The Fourth.

 Loving gnudi. Savoring? Not so much.

Loving gnudi. Savoring? Not so much.