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Ricotta Gundi with Peas and Mint

By Executive Chef James Walt of Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar

Serves 8-10 as a side dish (makes 60-72 pieces)

These tender, gnocchi-like pasta dumplings are perfect little flavor catchers. In this recipe, fresh peas and mint highlight the tangy ricotta cheese. You can find buffalo ricotta cheese in local cheese shops or Italian grocers, but cow's milk ricotta can work just as well. If you are in a hurry, use your favourite pasta noodle instead of the gnudi and use good-quality frozen peas if fresh are not available.


2 lbs whole milk or buffalo ricotta, drained
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 cups + 3 tbsp Italian "00" flour
¾ cup vegetable nage
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas, blanched
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
½ cup grated ricotta salata

In a large bowl, mix together the whole milk (or buffalo) ricotta, eggs, olive oil and salt until thoroughly combined. Add 2 cups of the "00" flour all at once and, using a pastry cutter or fork, gently and swiftly work it into a soft dough. Using your hands, gently gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Lightly dust a clean work surface and a large plate or baking tray with flour. Divide the dough into 4 roughly equal parts. Roll each piece between your palms to form a log about 1 inch in diameter. Place the logs on the counter and, using a pastry scraper or paring knife, cut each one into 1-inch pieces. (You will have about 15 to 18 per log, or 60 to 72 pieces total.) Arrange the gnudi in a single layer on the baking tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until needed. You can freeze the gnudi at this point for up to one month.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat. Bring the vegetable nage to a simmer in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half, then add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the peas.

Add half of the gnudi to the boiling salted water and cook until they float to the surface, 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, add them to the peas. Cook the second batch of gnudi and add them to the peas, too. Once all the gnudi have been cooked and added to the pan, remove from the heat, and stir in the mint. Season lightly with sea salt, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve topped with the ricotta salata.

Click here to see Chef Walt's tip

February 2017

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