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Along with the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, I also bought A Girl and Her Pig, the April Bloomfield recipe book. April Bloomfield is a chef from England who owns the renowned Spotted Pig restaurant in NYC. Her dishes are known for simple, but good quality ingredients cooked with precision, letting the ingredients speak for themselves rather than hiding it with too many levels of complexity. I was immediately drawn to her recipe for Gnudi with brown butter and sage sauce because I think it really showcases her cooking style.

Gnudi literally means “nude” in Italian, and it refers to the fact that the dish is composed of cheese fillings usually found in raviolis but without the pasta skin, therefore the fillings are “Nude”. The Gnudis are very easy to make, but they take a few days to develop to the right consistency. The hardest part of making this recipe lies in the precise cooking time, because the Gnudis will easily fall apart if cooked for to long, which happened to me.

The Gnudis are composed of ricotta and parmesan cheese.

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The cheeses are mixed together with salt until thoroughly blended together.

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The mixture is transferred to a plastic bag or a pastry bag with a 1 and 1/4 inch opening, and piped in a line in a quarter sheet pan covered in semolina flour.

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Pipe the cheese with 1 or 2 inches of space in between.

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The cheese logs are cut with kitchen scissors into 1 to 1 and 1/4 inch lengths.

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The cheese segments are carefully picked up in your hands and gently rolled around the edges until its cut edges are rounded.

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Semolina flour is sprinkled over the cheese segments, and the segments gently turned so that it is coated in flour completely.

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The segments are placed back in the pan, and the process repeated with the rest of the cheese segments.

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The Gnudis are covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge to chill for 3 to 4 days, turning them every day or so.

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During this time, a very thin skin will form on the surface of the Gnudi, there is no specific set time on how long it takes for the skin to form, however it usually takes between 3 or 4 days.

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To make the brown butter sauce, a stick of butter is melted in a medium pan and cooked until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown. Then sage leaves are added to the pan, and cooked until crisp.

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The sage leaves are drained on paper towels and set aside until they are ready to be used. The browned butter kept warm in the pan until the Gnudis are cooked.

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To cook the Gnudi, a pot of water is brought to a boil, and the Gnudis are cooked for exactly two minutes. It’s important to drop the Gnudis in at the same time, otherwise some Gnudis will be cooked long before the others are, and it will be hard ( and too late) to distinguish which are overcooked.

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After the Gnudis have completed their two minutes of cooking, the are immediately removed from the hot water with a slotted spoon and placed in a pan with some butter and hot pasta water.

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When the sauce thickens, the Gnudis are plated in a deep large bowl, and the brown butter drizzled over the Gnudis. The fried sage leaves are sprinkled over the dish and the dish seasoned with salt and pepper.

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I really liked this dish because the Gnudis are so delicate and they literally melt in your mouth, but next time I will take better care to cook them in exactly two minutes, since some of my Gnudis fell apart.

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