Gnudi – Spinach and Ricotta Delicate No-Carb Balls

Have you ever just had a craving for something? I love all things cheesy and although I might not eat cheese everyday when I do I like it to be good quality cheese with a quality meal. Sometimes it’s just cheese and wine; here in Italy it’s so common to eat Parmigiano Reggiano in chunks with a nice glass of wine or for a snack.
However delicious; one of my favorite types of cheese is a good Pecorino aged at least 100 days but anyway I find it I like it. I find it so delicious and also easier to digest, maybe because it’s from sheep’s milk instead of cow. Whatever the reason I really enjoy it.

I was thinking the other night as I prepped my menu for the week as to what I would like to make for dinner and as seeing that it’s been cold, rainy, snowy the last week or so I thought of something warm, indulgent and possibly not too heavy because in the winter most dishes seem to be a little bit more heavy and a little too indulgent.
This recipe popped in my head and I thought ‘brilliant’, this it is: Gnudi which means ‘Nude’, they are in the family of Gnocchi but in a much lighter and delicate way because they have no-Carbs whatsoever they are not heavy or chewy, they melt in your mouth and feel like a little piece of heaven when you eat them.
Now, even though these don’t have a lot of ingredients and seem light they are still filling so I think that 4 or 5 balls per person is plenty. You can serve them with a light red sauce, mushroom sauce, bacon or whatever you like I choose a light sage and olive oil concoction, accompanied by a nice green salad. They are very simple and fast to make and make a great impression. Delizioso! I hope that you like as much as we did. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes about 15 large balls

1 kg. of frozen Spinach,Β  thawed, squeezed dry & chopped (get rid if the excess water)

300 gr. of Sheep Ricotta*

150 gr. of Pecorino, grated**

1 egg

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the sauce:

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

5 leaves of Sage, fresh chopped or whole

Handful of Pecorino, grated

Preheat your oven at 350Β° (180Β°) degrees.

In a large bowl mix together spinach, ricotta, pecorino, the egg, salt and pepper.
Grab a baking dish and start making the balls placing down one by one, don’t worry if the are close to each other they won’t stick.

Now in a small sauce pan heat your olive oil and sage together until starts to sizzle and switch off. Drizzle the Olive oil mixture evenly over the balls, sprinkle the pecorino on top and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

*Ricotta can also be from cow’s milk.

**You can use Parmigiano instead of Pecorino, I just wanted to use all sheep’s cheese.


26 thoughts on “Gnudi – Spinach and Ricotta Delicate No-Carb Balls

  1. Love this recipe! I love that there are no carbs, however certainly not low calorie. I’m bookmarking to make as an appetizer one day (very small portion, of course).

    • Yeah, these are pretty filling, but like I said they are healthy and full of protein I ate 5 last night with a salad but I am certain that 3 or 4 would’ve sufficed….I was hungry. πŸ™‚

      You have to make these, just make sure to let me know how you like them.

      Thanks for stopping by mythineats

  2. What a lovely appetizer! I agree with you about sheep’s milk or even goat–I do find it much easier to digest than cow. And the flavor is sharper! πŸ™‚

    • That’s a fantastic idea for an appetizer, just remember that these are pretty filling because of the cheese so make sure to make them smaller, this recipe should yield you about 30 small appetizer balls.
      Let me know how they turn out.
      Happy cooking and thanks for stopping by mythineats

  3. Not two days ago I ran across this word, “gnudi,” and hadn’t known exactly what it is, and now I know, so thank you! They look delicious, Cristina, and I’m thinking there are all kinds of combinations that could be made into these.

      • Haha, I was wondering about that for just a moment ‘how is she going to incorporate the coconut in this recipe?’.
        But you should try these as well they are so easy and delicious.

        Thanks for stopping by mythineats

  4. hi! I followed the recipe and the mix was so soft there was no way that it would shape into balls. so I added a heap of breadcrumbs and it’s fine – but not carb free anymore! How did you get your mix to shape?

    • I’m sorry.

      Let’s see I wrote the recipe the night that I made them and they were perfect. Did you squeeze out all the liquid from the spinach. And was your Ricotta thick?
      Maybe a bit more Pecorino if everything was fine could’ve thickened it a bit more leaving them carb-free.

      I just grabbed a spoonful, put it between my 2 hands and made balls out of them.

      • I squeezed the spinach, but the ricotta was very fresh, so maybe that was too soft. But please don’t apologise, they’re still delicious! Looking forward to sharing them with friends this evening.
        Thank you!

      • I’m glad they are delicious. Next time maybe just add a little more Pecorino or spinach.

        Oh also, the consistency of the spinach and cheese while raw is not going not supposed to be thick it will be a little mushy but when it cooks it hardens and thickens a bit making it a delicious fluffy ball.

        Well, I hope that you enjoy them tonight and next time see how they turn out.

        Thanks for stopping by mythineats and have a wonderful day!

  5. this recipe looks wonderful…..but I don’t know the measures of grams,,,,and also, how much spinach…please….thank you

    • 300gr. Would be 10.5 oz
      150gr. Would be 5.5oz
      And as for the spinach I would say 2.2lbs

      Let me know how they turn out.
      Also I want to add a side note the mixture is going to seem a little more wet than when you add breadcrumbs to a mixture such as this but that’s the whole point. As it cooks it will dry up just a bit but still remain silky, fluffy and light which is what makes these so amazing.

      You don’t want to eat a rock of spinach and cheese so even if you might feel tempted don’t add breadcrumbs…. Unless you really want carbs.
      Happy cooking and thanks for stopping by mythineats

  6. Would it be possible to use fresh spinach? I have fresh spinach and ricotta on hand right now and would love to make these!

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