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Italian Recipes: Cooked Italian gnudi with tomato sauce

A oven dish with spinach and ricotta balls and tomato sauce on top


Gnudi comes from the word nudo which is Naked in Italian. Gnudi is also a dish that could be described as cannelloni without the pasta. Essentially the insides of cannelloni and therefore “naked cannelloni” Gnudi is also delicious.

Serves: 4


  • 250 gr ricotta cheese
  • 250 gr spinach
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • olive oil
  • sat & pepper
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan, grated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • basil


Turn the oven on to 180 C / 350 F.
To make the tomato sauce, add a little olive oil to a frypan, add two cloves garlic, tomatoes, basil, half a can water and a good amount of salt and pepper. With the back of a spoon, break up the tomatoes. Allow this sauce to simmer until it thickens slightly, approx 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, add a dash of olive oil, 1 clove garlic and the spinach and saute for a few minutes. Spoon the spinach into a medium-sized bowl. Add the ricotta, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan, 1 tablespoon flour and salt. Mix all ingredients together.
Add some olive oil to the palm of your hands and roll this mixture into bite sized balls.
In an oven proof dish, spoon in almost all the tomato sauce, reserve about 2 tablespoons worth. Place all the gnudi balls on top of the sauce and then spoon the remaining sauce over the gnudi. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.

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