March 6th, 2013 | Posted by Monika Topolko in Recipes

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

My husband hates peas. That being said, let us also mention the fact that I love them. No, strike that on grounds of a serious understatement. I could eat peas every day for the rest of my life. I probably would if there wasn’t for the grumpy pea hater and his suspicious eye.

Although I love cooking, I must admit that I’m way too lazy to cook two separate meals on occasions when I feel like eating peas. So, I basically stopped eating them. You know, marriage means compromise so I figured I can sacrifice peas for the love of my life.

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

I didn’t give up right away, though. I tried adding peas to some dishes, like hearty vegetable soups or stews. My goal was to push boundaries a bit and see what happens. Sometimes it worked. Other times… Well, not quite. I soon realized that when real pea flavor was masked by other, more dominant flavors in a dish, he would eat them without much fuss. However, if peas were made the star of the dish, success was limited, to say the least.

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

On rare occasions when my husband is away or not eating lunch at home, I indulge myself  with a bowl of peas. Pea soup, pasta with peas, pea pesto, pea frittata with feta and mint… However, my favorite ingredient to pair with those tiny green balls is lemon. Not only do green and yellow look stunning on a plate together, but the tangy lemony bite both contrasts and complements the sweet and delicate pea flavor beautifully.

I discovered the combination years ago, when I first tried tagliatelle with pea and lemon cream sauce. I remember that even Darko loved it. Lemons and cream seemed to do the trick. Combined with pasta, which he loves just as much as I love peas, he could ignore his green arch enemy and actually enjoy the meal.

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

This dish is actually just another version of that tagliatelle we discovered some time ago. Because we love gnudi and they’re so easy to make, I decided to use them instead of pasta. Gnudi are basically a really light and fluffy type of gnocchi made with ricotta cheese. This time I used buckwheat flour, which gave them a lovely earthy and almost nutty flavor.  Moreover, they’re gluten free.

Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

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Buckwheat Gnudi with Peas

Serves 2
Prep time: + chilling time
Cook time:
Total time:
Difficulty: Basic

Category: Pasta, rice & grains, Vegetarian
Gnudi are basically a type of gnocchi made with ricotta cheese instead of mashed potatoes. They’re much easier to make and their texture is very delicate and fluffy. I tried making them with buckwheat flour this time, and they turned out beautifully. Buckwheat flour gave them an earthy and almost nutty flavor that went really well with peas. The  gnudi recipe was adapted from Gesine Bullock-Prado’s blog G Bakes! If you  using a pastry bag for these gnudi is too much of a fuss for you, you can just drop the gnudi mixture into boiling water using a teaspoon.
For the Buckwheat gnudi:
150g ricotta cheese
25g grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
30g buckwheat flour
In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta and Parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, beat together egg, salt and lemon zest. Stir the mixture into the cheeses until smooth. Gently fold in the flour just until incorporated. Do not overmix or the gnudi will not be light and fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fit with a large open pastry tip and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Squeeze about 2cm of dough from pastry bag and cut the dough with scissors directly into the boiling water, holding the bag as close to the water as possible to avoid splashing. Squeeze and cut quickly. Boil the gnudi until they pop to the top of the water and then cook for at least 8 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove gnudi with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Keep warm.
For the Pea and lemon cream sauce:
100g frozen peas
100ml cooking cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
some gnudi cooking water
Cook the peas in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with ice cold water.
In a medium saucepan, heat cream and crushed garlic until warmed through. Add peas and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Simmer on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the peas are warmed through and soft. Add the cooked gnudi and lemon zest. Thin the sauce with a tablespoon or two of gnudi cooking water if necessary. Cook for 2-3 minutes and serve immediately with a shaving of Parmesan cheese.

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