Spinach and ricotta dumplings

This dish from David Rocco is sometimes called naked ravioli as these pasta-less balls are coated in a tomato, garlic and basil sauce
By David Rocco
Spinach and ricotta dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 large bunch raw spinach, chopped
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for smearing hands
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 450 g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp finely grated parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp flour, if needed
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Preheat oven to about 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2. Place the spinach in a pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and half the chopped garlic. Sauté for 4 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool.

3. In a bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, parmesan and a pinch of salt. If the ricotta makes the mixture watery, add a small amount of flour, a little at a time, and combine thoroughly.

4. Smear some olive oil onto your hands. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture onto the palm of your hands and form into a compact ball. It should be about the size of an egg. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

5. In a saucepan, heat up the remaining olive oil, then add the rest of the garlic along with the cherry tomatoes and basil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

6. Spoon half the sauce into a baking dish, then add the gnudi balls and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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