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Tuscan Kale and Ricotta Gnudi in Tomato sauce-feature-plated-closeup

Tuscan kale and ricotta Gnudi in tomato sauce

Tuscan kale and ricotta gnudi in tomato sauce might become your next favorite Sunday meal. Light and tender dumplings placed in a lovely pool of rich flavorful tomato sauce. Gnudi, "nudi" in Italian, means "naked". Imagine a ravioli filling without the pasta enveloping them. Pure deliciousness.

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x



For the gnudi:

  • 270 g kale, stems removed, about 1 cup blanched and minced
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) ricotta, drained
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 20 g (1/3 cup) Parmigiano, grated
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 cup semolina flour

For the sauce:

  • 1 x 480 ml tomato passata or pureed stewed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed
  • 2 Tbsp evo oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 basil leaves


  1. In a bowl, with a fork or whisk, mix ricotta, minced kale, grated Parmigiano, egg. Grate in the nutmeg, add salt, and pepper, and mix until smooth. If you see the mixture is too runny, let it firm up in the fridge, half hour to 1 hour.
  2. Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to measure the size, then form the mixture into small balls. Coat with semolina flour, and place the gnudi on a well semolina floured baking sheet, apart from each other.
  3. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, set in the fridge to rest for at least 1/2 hour, better if longer. The time in the fridge allows the ricotta/kale mixture to fuse with the semolina and form a delicate skin. 
  4. Fill a tall pot two-thirds full with water, salt it generously, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Before adding the gnudi, reduce to a light boil, place a few gnudi at a time on a stainless steel strainer or slotted spoon and gently submerge them into the water. Repeat for all the gnudi.
  5. Once they are all in, shake the pot gently, do not stir, then wait until they come to the surface, about 3-5 minutes. Then, use the strainer or slotted spoon to gently take them out of the water.
  6. While the gnudi are cooking, place a ladle of tomato sauce at the bottom of a shallow bowl. Then, place 3 or 4 drained gnudi on top of the sauce.
  7. Grate Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano on top and serve immediately.

For the sauce:

  1. Drizzle evo oil into a pot over medium heat, toss in garlic and stir around. Add the tomato passata, season with salt and pepper to taste and the basil leaves. Pour a little warm water into the passata jar, swish it around then pour it into the sauce.
  2. Partially cover with a lid and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely reduced and thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Buon Appetito!


We made them in the morning and cooked for dinner. We suggest giving them at least half hour to 1 hour to set up in the fridge or they risk to fall apart in the water. 

If your ricotta is too watery, let it drain in a colander for 1-2 hours in the fridge before using.

Mince your greens, kale, spinach or chard, on a board with a knife. Do not puree, or they'll develop too much water.

  • Author: Loreto and Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pasta, Vegetarian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta, Italian, gnudi, tomato sauce, Sunday meal, ricotta, kale, traditional, classic, delicious, dinner

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