Gnudi with Brown Butter Sauce Is the Easy Yet Impressive Dish You're Looking For

a bowl of gnudi with brown butter sauce
Gnudi with Brown Butter SauceBecky Luigart-Stayner

You could think of gnudi as ravioli without the shell, or as ricotta dumplings. But if you're a fan of cheese and butter, you couldn't find a more decadent dinner.

Though there's a little prep, this recipe is pretty straightforward. And if you're looking to impress a dinner guest or a date, this is the meal to do it.

We highly recommend using semolina flour and not trying to substitute all-purpose. Semolina is much coarser and is what is typically used to make pasta. It will give the gnudi a thin, pasta-like coating, as opposed to a powdery, breading-like coating you'd get from all-purpose. (You can find it in most grocery stores, but also here's a link to buy it online.)

Yields: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 35 mins


  • 18 oz.

    (2 cups) full-fat ricotta

  • 4 oz.

    Parmesan, grated (about (1 1/4 cups)

  • 2/3 c.

    semolina flour, plus more if needed

  • 2

    large eggs, beaten

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 c.

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 3 tbsp.

    pine nuts, toasted

  • 1/4 c.

    chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir together ricotta, Parmesan, flour, and eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon or melon baller, divide mixture into 24 equal-size portions. Working one at a time, scoop 3 tablespoons of mixture using hands or a cookie scoop, then roll to form a roughly 1-inch ball. If mixture is too sticky, add up to an additional tablespoon semolina. Place in a large cast-iron pan or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. (Makes about 16 balls.)

  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until foam subsides and butter begins to turn a deep caramel color, 8 to 10 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in pine nuts and basil.

  3. Pour butter mixture over gnudi. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve garnished with basil.

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