Gnudi with arrabiata sauce

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


  • 300g/10½oz ricotta, drained
  • 50g/1¾oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt, to taste
  • about 250g/9oz semolina, for dusting
  • olive oil, for drizzing

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500g/1lb 2oz fresh tomatoes, peeled and puréed (or tinned equivalent)
  • pinch sugar (optional)
  • handful basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • grated Parmesan
  • basil leaves


  1. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and break up with a fork. Add the Parmesan and nutmeg and season with salt. Mix together thoroughly.

  2. Put half of the semolina into a roasting dish or tray. Wet the palm of your hands and dip in the semolina – this will help the ricotta from sticking too much. Shape heaped teaspoons of the mixture into small dumplings – or if you want to avoid mess, use two teaspoons to make quenelles.

  3. You should end up with between 24-30 dumplings, depending how generous you are. Drop the dumplings into the semolina and pour over the remaining semolina, making sure they are completely covered.

  4. Cover the tray and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight. When you are ready to cook, remove the gnudi from and pat off any loose semolina.

  5. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic. Cook very gently for 2-3 minutes, then add the chilli flakes and tomatoes.

  6. Season with salt and pepper, then bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced down – you don’t want it too thick, it needs to be fairly liquid to go well with the gnudi. Taste and add a pinch of sugar if you think if it needs it, then stir in the fresh basil.

  7. To cook the gnudi, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, add the gnudi, all at once, and leave to cook. When the gnudi start floating, they will be done – this will take around 4–5 minutes. Remove them carefully with a slotted spoon (be careful, they are fragile). Drizzle with a little olive oil.

  8. To serve, flood a serving plate with sauce and drop the dumplings on top. Top with a little more Parmesan and basil leaves.

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