Smoked Ricotta Gnudi
The secret to this gnudi recipe is a yeast ingredient that helps to thicken the dairy, and, of course, the smoking of the cheese.
*Activa YG is otherwise known as "meat glue," and is a natural enzyme that has the ability to glue proteins together. It is available for purchase The Modernist Pantry. While chef Riesenberger likes to use it in his gnudi, you can substitute it with rice flour or regular flour.
- 1 Pound sheep's milk ricotta
- 5 Tablespoons Activa YG*
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 Cup mascarpone
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup white wine
- 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 Ounces yellow wax beans
- 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped with tops
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 Tablespoon chopped tarragon
- Rice flour, for dusting
- Olive oil, as needed
In a mixing bowl, combine all of the cheeses and egg yolks with the salt. Sift in the activa YG to cheese mixture. Place wood chips into another bowl that is similar in size. Light the wood chips and let them burn until all are ignited. Blow out the flame and place the bowl with the cheese mixture on top of the chips. Wrap in aluminum foil and allow the cheese mixture to smoke for up to 12 hours prior to use.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust heavily with rice flour. Place the cheese mixture into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with its corner cut and pip into eight 2-ounce balls onto the baking sheet. Lightly coat the balls in flour and gently place them into simmering salted water until the gnudi float to the surface. Remove and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
In a small sauté pan, cook the shallots in a little olive oil. Add the chopped fennel and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and white wine. Reduce liquid by ½, then add the wax beans, salt, and cook until beans are tender, about 5 minutes. Finish with the chopped herbs. Place a ladle of stew in the bottom of a shallow bowl, place 1 gnudi in the center, drizzle with olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.