Naked with Ravioli

Beet Gnudi with Caraway Sauce:

In business, when people I’ve just met ask me “how would you describe yourself,” I’m always tickled by the same answer that pops into my mind. With a grin that only I can see on the inside, I respond with – “I’m a split brain – half highly creative and visual, and half equally scientific and analytical.” Victoria is also quick to remind me of this fact, especially when it comes to cooking. But here, it was Victoria’s keen creative and scientific sides in her that inspired us to experiment with handmade gnudi and roasted 2013_Beet-Gnudi001beets. Gnudi is known as the “nude ravioli.” Derived from the Italian word literally meaning nude, it is a pillowy dumpling, more delicate in nature than gnocchi, but equally rich in flavor. Like most Italian cooking, there are infinite variations and possibilities. For this dish, beets added a silky and uniquely visual experience, and the ground caraway in the sauce provided another layer of complexity. In all, this dish was actually easy to make, and as we sat by the fire with our second helping, it was clear that we would be making this one again soon.

SECRET INGREDIENT: Fresh ground caraway and white pepper in the sauce

TIP: Don’t overwork the mixture, and add a touch more flour to make more workable if needed

Beet Gnudi with Caraway Sauce

  • Beets (2 large, approximate 1 cup grated)
  • Olive oil
  • Ricotta (1 cup)
  • Parmesan (1/2 cup grated)
  • Egg (1, beaten)
  • Flour (1/2 cup)
  • Nutmeg (pinch x 2)
  • Salt & fresh pepper

Caraway Sauce

  • Butter (2 Tbl)
  • Shallot (finely chopped)
  • Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Ground Caraway
  • Flour (1 Tbl)
  • White wine (1/4 cup)
  • Chicken stock (1/4 cup)
  • Yogurt (1/4 cup)
  • Salt & ground white pepper
  • Pecans (chopped)
  • Parsley (for garnish)

Roast beets whole at 425°F for 1 hour with small amount of olive oil and wrapped in foil, then remove from oven and let cool. Once beets are cool, grate 1 and a half beets with course cheese grater (reserve half to cube as garnish). Line a sieve (or colander) with cheese cloth or paper towel and place over a bowl. Then add ricotta and let drain for 30 minutes. Some ricottas, especially nonfat, may not need this step while others may need longer. In mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients.

To make gnudi, place 1 cup flour in a medium bowl. Coat hands generously with flour and shape 1 Tbl of mixture into small log. Place gnudi on well-floured baking sheet, then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add gnudi in batches and stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until gnudi rise and float on surface, about 5 minutes. Reserve 2 Tbl of cooking liquid.

In a sauté pan, melt butter and sauté shallots and garlic. Add caraway and flour and cook for 2 minute to make roux. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add stock and whisk to combine (add more stock if sauce becomes too thick), then whisk in yogurt and reserved cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and ground white pepper. Plate with sauce first, then gnudi and cubed beets. Garnish with crème fraîche, parsley leaves, and chopped pecans.

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  • Heat Index: 76°F;
  • Wind Chill: 76°F;
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