Appear fancier than you are with this sexy dish!

“Gnudi,” in Italian, means—you guessed it—“naked,” and it’s a fitting title for these weird little guys. Gnudi are essentially gnocchi, sans potato, held together with flour, egg, and ricotta. There are many ways to prepare these little dumplings, but this one was the first one to come up on my For You Page

Tip: A few of this TikTok’s measurements were unhinged, so this recipe has several updates to reflect what worked best for me. In short—don’t try to use both recipes together.


  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ lb spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Tomato sauce of choice
  • An extra $9 to spend on a jar of nutmeg, of which you’ll apparently use ¼ tsp. I did not do this.

Makes 14-18 dumplings.

Special Tools 

Here’s the thing: both of the main ingredients in this dish—ricotta and boiled spinach—are mostly water. These dumplings, made out of ingredients that are mostly water, will absolutely fall apart if there is even a little bit too much water in them. That means you have to take a lot of extra steps to make sure your very watery ingredients have almost no water left.

  • A cheesecloth or freshly-cleaned cotton kitchen towel. I did not remember this and used a cotton pillowcase but now I am down one pillowcase. 
  • A strainer for the spinach.


  1. Set some water to boil for the spinach. I used the same water for the dumplings and lightly salted, less than I would for normal pasta. 
  2. Boil what seems like all of the spinach in the world but will shortly turn into a tiny little wet ball. Fit the strainer over a small bowl, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the spinach into the strainer so it can drain for at least 15 minutes. During this time, you’ll want to use the back of the spoon to press the spinach against the strainer to get as much water out as possible. If you have paper towels on hand, you can also squeeze your spinach ball inside of those. Chop the spinach when it feels dry.
  3. While you’re waiting for your spinach to dry, measure out your one cup of ricotta and wrap it in the cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible, like the spinach, you can also hang this over a bowl to let the rest of the water drain as you prepare your other ingredients.
  4. Once both ingredients are very dry, combine them in a large mixing bowl. It will look and feel like you’re making ravioli filling because this is essentially ravioli filling. Add in your one egg, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder (and nutmeg if using) and combine with a fork until homogenous. 
  5. Add in your all-purpose flour to the ricotta mixture bit by bit, but do not add more than ¼ cup. This should create a dough that is firm, but a little bit moister than regular pasta dough. You’ll likely need less than the full ¼ cup to get there.
  6. On a separate plate, spread out the rest of your flour. Cut off a small piece of your dough, about ½ tbsp, form a small ball, and roll in the flour. 
  7. Heat your water so that it is very hot, but not yet at a rolling boil. Drop the small dough ball and boil for 3-5 minutes, until it floats. Use this as your tester—if it falls apart in the water, the dough likely needs a little bit more flour. This is also a good time to check whether you need to adjust your seasoning. 
  8. Form the rest of the dough into 1 tbsp-sized balls, and roll each in the flour. You should get between 14 and 18. Boil for roughly 4 minutes, until floating. Tip: sometimes they won’t start floating unless they’re slightly jostled. 
  9. While the dumplings are boiling, heat your red sauce in a pan. Transfer the dumplings into the sauce as they finish cooking and coat.

CWB Cover Photo via Bwog Archives