Nudies Recipe

  • 1 pound wild greens, swiss chard, or spinach to make 1 1/3 cups squeezed cooked greens
  • 5 quarts water
  • Salt plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup ricotta, drained in a metal sieve if watery
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1 egg
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • Flour to lightly coat nudies
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 1/2 cup homemade meat sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Toss the greens in a sinkful of warm water to clean. Rinse the greens until all grit and sand are removed. Dirty spinach may need more than one change of water. Lift the greens from the water and drain them in a colander. Remove any bruised leaves and thick stems.
  2. Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in a larger pot. Salt the water, immerse the greens in boiling water, and cook, 3-5 minutes, or longer for some wild greens, until tender. Remove the greens with a slotted spoon, reserving water for poaching the nudies. Place the greens in a colander and run them under cold water to cool. Divide the cooked greens in three parts and squeeze between both hands to form balls and remove all excess water. Squeeze hard!
  3. Measure 1 1/3 cups of the cooked greens. Untangle the greens after measuring; they'll be easier to process. Roughly chop the greens in a food processor. Add the ricotta, Parmigiano, egg, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and nutmeg and process to form a smooth paste.
  4. Transfer the paste to a pastry bag with a large tip or a medium-sized plastic bag with a 1/2-inch corner cut off.
  5. Sift a layer of flour onto a large clean surface and pipe the paste in blobs the size of a walnut, 2 inches apart. Sift another layer of flour over the blobs and delicately roll in the flour. Carefully toss each nudie from hand to hand to remove the excess flour.
  6. Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and poach 8-9 nudies at a time, for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface of the water. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large baking dish.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle the nudies with melted butter, or tomato or meat sauce, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and cheese has melted and serve.