Artichoke gnudi with butter and sage - In viaggio in cucina

Artichoke gnudi with butter and sage

26 April 2019
Recipe - First course
Artichoke gnudi with butter and sage

These artichoke gnudi are a tasty variation of the traditional recipe that normally involves the use of spinach or chard.

They are large ricotta dumplings typical of Tuscany and, according to the area, they are also called “malfatti“.

It is funny to think that the name derives from the fact that they are ravioli with ricotta “nudi” (that translated in English is “naked”) or “mal fatti” (badly prepared), as there is no pasta that covers the filling.

Some tricks before directions

The most suitable ricotta cheese to prepare these gnudi is that of sheep, but you can also use the vaccine or goat one, the really important thing is that it is fresh and dry.

If your ricotta is not well dry, leave it in a colander for at least an hour before using it so that it will lose the excess liquid.

The amount of flour indicated in the ingredients may slightly vary depending on how wet the dough is, to better adjust, consider that this should be rather soft and a little sticky, but consistent enough to allow you to form your artichokes malfatti with ease.

Keep in mind that the less flour you use, the more your gnudi will be fluffy, so you can also adjust according to the consistency you want to achieve (if you prefer them more or less firm).

Don’t overdo the quantity anyway, otherwise you might taste the flour.

You can prepare the dough a few hours in advance and keep it in the fridge, covered, until use.

The suitable artichokes for making this recipe are the thorny ones, which are smaller and more tasty than those without thorns.

If you don’t know how to clean artichokes, proceed in this way: prepare a bowl of cold water and squeeze in the juice of a lemon.

Take the first artichoke, cut the stem about 5 cm from the flower and throw away the excess.

Now cut the piece of stem attached to the flower and peel it by cutting off the toughest part with the knife.

Dip the clean stem in acidulated water.

Peel off the artichoke by removing the harder outer leaves until you reach to discover the heart (the lightest and most tender part).

At this point, cut off the thorny top keeping only the heart, divide it in half lengthwise and remove the fuzzy center using the tip of the knife.

Dip your cleaned artichoke in water and lemon and proceed in the same way with all the others.

Just before cooking, rinse them quickly under cold running water to remove the lemon juice.

You can see how to clean artichokes in the video below (you can choose and turn on English or Italian subtitles).

If you like these ingredients, here you can find another first course recipe with artichoke and ricotta.

Artichoke gnudi with butter and sage recipe

Preparation times
45 min
Cooking times
15 min
Nutritional values
( per serving )
Carbohydrates: 27 gr
Calories: 352 kcal


Serves 4
(for about 32 gnudi)

    To make gnudi

  • 300 gr of ricotta
  • 4 artichokes
  • 30 gr of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30 gr of all pourpose flour
  • An egg
  • Nutmeg as required
  • Salt to taste
  • To cook artichokes

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the sauce

  • 50 gr of butter
  • Sage leaves as required


After rinsing, slice your artichokes, then put them in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and the slightly crushed garlic cloves.

Stir fry them over a high heat for a couple of minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat and cover with a lid.

Cook the artichokes gently until they are tender (about 10-15 minutes).

If it seems necessary, add a little water during cooking.

When cooked, remove the lid of the pan and raise the heat again for a few moments so that artichokes dry well.

Remove garlic and let them cool directly in the pan without covering.

Artichoke gnudi (ricotta dumplings)

Once cooled, chop artichokes not too thinly and transfer them to a bowl together with the previously sieved ricotta, flour, parmesan, egg, salt as required and one or two pinches of nutmeg, mix well with a spatula.

Rotate with the palm of the hands a sufficient quantity of dough to form balls of about 3 – 3,5 cm in diameter and place them on a serving dish lightly greased with extra virgin olive oil.

Melt the butter over medium heat and brown in it some sage leaves.

Cook the artichokes malfatti in plenty of boiling water using a large pot so as not to group them up too much.

Collect them with a skimmer when they come to the surface and divide them into the dishes.

Season the artichokes gnudi with butter and sage and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.