"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~ Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (2024)

Bisnonna Elvira's Italian flag Gnudi! Mangiamo tutti!
"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~ Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (2)
Category winner for Parmigiano Reggiano

A taste of Emilia-Romagna ~ Parmigiano Reggiano!

The ingredient I was offered to explore when I accepted the challenge in the LEGENDS from EUROPE "Market Recipe Contest for Blogger" is Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese. LEGENDS fro EUROPE is the name of the campaign promoting the five high-quality European products: Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mantasio, Prisciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele.

Before we continue with my recipe, let's cover an important order of business. There is a major difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano. In order for a cheese to be called Parmigiano Reggiano, it must be a product of Italy. As with many Italian agricultural products, there are very strict standards an Italian cheese-maker must abide by for it's product to be stamped a Parmigiano Reggiano. The cows who graze in Emilia-Romagna are nurtured and at times, a hand-fed specialty grasses that produce a complex flavor; results are a salty, nuttiness, with an almost caramel finish. These notes make it perfect for a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory, which is why I love cooking with it so much.

"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~ Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (3)
Recipe makes 15 fluffy gnudi

Gnudi are “naked” ravioli,(without the pasta around it). The name, actually, means naked, in a dialect form. They differ from gnocchi in that they arelarger, lighter and fluffier, as they are made with fresh ricotta, freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese andbreadcrumbs.

We ate spinach gnudi, aspart of a first course while in Italy, but, and as a tribute to my Italian heritage, I wanted to prepare avariation on the dish that uses the colors of the Italian flag by featuring Parmigiano Reggiano, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

These gnudi are light and pillowy, with the richness of Parmigiano Reggiano as the dominant flavor. I lightly browned mine before serving, but you can certainly skip that step, if you desire. The brown butter sauceusing white wine is a vibrant sauce, and the textural elements of the toasted pine nuts are the perfect finishing touches!

My Bisnonna (great-grandmother) Elvira (Piacente) Iannone's roots are from a small town called Piacenze in the Emilia-Romagna Region of Northern Italy, so Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, certainly, holds a special rank with me. I remember eating chunks of it dipped in balsamic syrup, and shaving it on almost everything! We certainly cooked with a lot of this cheese growing up, and I hope she would approve of my variation on this traditional dish!

When you purchase a genuine Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, you are choosing a cheese that is not just manufactured; this cheese is made the same way today as it was over eight centuries ago, and is a product of the P.D.O (Protected Designation of Origin) which holds very strict specifications in order to bear the entitlement of the Parmigiano Reggiano "stamp." So, you know you are getting the best of the best. And, aren't you worth it?!

Quality ingredients make all the difference!

"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~ Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (4)


1 ½ cups of fresh, organic ricotta cheese (drained in acheesecloth-lined strainer)
1/3 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (chopped roughly)

3 cups of baby spinach (steamed)
¼ cup of all purpose flour
¼ cup of panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
2 egg yolks (beaten)
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

2 tablespoon of butter
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
½ cup of pine nuts (toasted)

A cinch to make! ~ Andiamo!


1.) In a large skillet with a about 1/4 cup of water, wilt the baby spinach on low heat. Drain water and set aside.

2.) In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta,sun-dried tomato pieces,flour, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, nutmeg, and thoroughly mix witha fork so that all ingredients are incorporated.

3.) Separate the egg yolk from thewhites and beat the yolks a bit. Add yolks and spinach to mixture and mix with fork tothoroughly incorporate. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


1.) Bring a medium sauce pan of saltedwater to a boil.

2.) Using two tablespoons, scoop an egg-sized amount of gnudimixture, and use this first one as your tester.

3.) Lightly, drop it in the boilingwater. (If it stays together, you may continue with the batch. If it comesapart a bit, you need to add more breadcrumbs to the mixture.)

4.) Continue formingall the gnudi, lining them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Working insmall batched of three at a time, drop the gnudi into the boiling water. Theywill cook very quickly, and they are ready when they begin to float (about 1 ½-2minutes). Quickly remove them from the water and line on anotherparchment-lined baking sheet. (Do notlet them remain in water, as they will over-cook.)


1.) In a medium-sized sauté pan on mediumheat, brown the butter and when it begins to form a light-brown color, add thecracked black pepper and white wine.

2.). Turn the heat down to low and reduce fora couple minutes. Remove from heat.

3.) In aseparate sauté pan on medium-high heat, melt about a tablespoon of butter.

4.) Addthe extra virgin olive oil, and carefully toss gnudi to coat in sauce.

5.) At the last minute, toss in the pine nuts to toast them slightly. (Do not leave the pine nuts over the heat too long, as they will burn very quickly).

6.) Garnish with additional shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Makes 15 Gnudi

"All the colors of the Italian flag."

"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~ Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (5)

"LEGENDS from EUROPE" Recipe Contest Winner!!! ~  Parmigiano Reggiano Gnudi with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato (2024)
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