“Bleh! I don’t like spinach!” She says at the beginning of class.

From parental demand and specially scrawled complete with sauce stains from Chef Molly of Vesta Trattoria comes our Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi.

Our January class was a great success. 18 spinach skeptics entered the restaurant.

“Are we ready to cook?!”
“Ready to know what we’re making?!”
“Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi!”

Silence broken by:

“Spinach?! Bleh! I hate spinach.”

We’re obviously off to a good start.

Chef Molly explains what gnudi is. We’re waiting for a laugh with gnudi, it means naked, nude! Come on kids! Silence. So we go on in silence. They must be upset about the whole spinach thing. Gnudi are similar to gnocchi, which means dumpling, but without the potato and a touch of flour. One can still make gnocchi with ricotta, it’s the light touch of flour that makes gnudi, gnudi. When you say gnudi, think naked, as in naked pasta– it’s ravioli without the pasta. Filling only, the best part, right? Right?!

So we begin mixing our ingredients and “ew, this is like gross green ice cream that smells like cheese.” Even better.

We mix and mix, and we roll and roll, and we form our gnudi. We pass it to our guest chef, clean and hope for the best. The verdict?

One father says he’s never seen his son “eat so much spinach before. He loved every bite. This will be a recipe used often in our home.” The spinach hater ate three plates of gnudi. Plates were licked clean, and well, perhaps some of us found new love for the green monster.

Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi
2 cups blanched chopped spinach (shock in boiling water, squeeze out excess water) or 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and squeezed of excess water
1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta, drained if excessively wet
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
6 tablespoons flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Combine spinach , cheeses, eggs in a bowl with fork. Season with salt and pepper. Add flour and stir until just combined. Drop batter using two spoons into extra flour. Roll gently until dumpling forms.
Drop dumplings into boiling water, simmer. Allow dumplings to float to top, cook another 3 to 4 minutes until firm to the touch. Serve with marinara sauce and grated parmesan.

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