Makes approximately 24 gnudi
Purple-stained and pillowy soft, these ricotta balls are delicate and delicious with a hint of blueberry. Once assembled, they cook quickly, so prep gnudi ahead of time for a quick and satisfying meal! Instead of olive oil, finish this dish off with a drizzle of honey and transform this dish from savoury to sweet! Gnudi are best enjoyed the day they’re made.
Lost in translation
Gnudi, simply pronounced “noo-dee” with a silent g, is the Tuscan dialect word for “naked.” Fittingly named, these soft, pillowy balls of ricotta are “nude ravioli,” consisting of only the tasty filling—without the outside pasta.
In a pinch
No cheesecloth, no problem. For squeezing the moisture from ricotta, you could try using one of the following:
Remove extra liquid from ricotta by placing in cheesecloth-lined strainer over large bowl. Cover with cheesecloth, place heavy plate or bowl on top, and place in fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Remove and gently squeeze remaining liquid out, if any. Discard liquid and use cheese. (Note: this is an important step to ensure gnudi won’t fall apart when cooking.)
On low to medium heat in small saucepan, add blueberries. Mash with fork and cook down to a thick jamlike consistency and allow to cool. Makes 3/4 cup (180 mL).
To large bowl, add cooled blueberries, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, and salt, and gently combine. Cover with clean, damp dishtowel and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove from fridge. Scoop out 1 Tbsp (15 mL) portions and lightly roll by hand into 1 1/2 inch (3 cm) balls. Gently roll each ball in remaining chickpea flour and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with clean, damp dishtowel and return to fridge until water is boiled (next step).
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. In two batches, with slotted spoon, lower gnudi balls into boiling water and lightly stir once so gnudi won’t stick to the bottom of pot. These cook quickly; once they rise to the surface and float, remove with slotted spoon and place in warmed casserole dish. Once all gnudi are in casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, lightly toss with basil and remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.