‘Ndunderi di Minori, nella costiera amalfitana (ricotta gnocchi from Minori, on the Amalfi coast)

A rather difficult name for an easy peasy pasta: ‘ndunderi are ricotta and pecorino cheese gnocchi from Minori,  on the Amalfi coast. These cheesy morsels are firmer than potato gnocchi but positevly tender and are a cinch to make.  They go back centuries: in fact they are said to be deriving from the little pasta balls of farro flour (spelt) and soured milk that the ancient Romans used to make. These days, they are generally served with  a simple tomato sauce, but local food historian Ezio Falcone also reccomends moretum, the ancient Romans’ pesto-like sauce made with wild herbs, garlic, olive oil and soured cheese.
I have made ‘ndnduri often and each time I am amazed how versatile they are – they do shine with almost any condiment: tomato sauce, light walnut pesto, olive oil & pecorino & black pepper, sautéed mushrooms. The ones in the picture were dressed  with a garlicky and hot tomato and bitter greens sauce, which I think plays nicely against their dairy richness.
Of all the ricotta gnocchi I have tried, these are the most delicious and easiest to prepare: by the time the water comes to the boil, you will have rustled up a batch of ‘ndunderi enough for three people. No excuse not to try them.

 

‘Ndunderi di Minori, sulla costiera amalfitana (ricotta gnocchi from Minori, in the Amalfi coast)
2 to 3 portions
250 g ricotta, well drained and patted dry with kitchen paper
2 yolks, beaten
100 g grated pecorino cheese
a little grated nutmeg
80 g semola rimacinata flour (or plain flour)

Mix well all the ingredients, minus the flour. Add the flour and incorporate it lightly. Do not overmix.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently for a minute or so: this develops the gluten a little and gives the pasta some bite. This dough is much more forgiving than the one used for potato gnocchi and even if you are a liittle heavy-handed, the gnocchi will turn out just fine nonetheless.
Divide the dough into three to four pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and cut it up into little morsels: the size is really up to you. I have seen rather substantial  ‘ndunderi and dainty ones. I go for something not too big.
You could make an indent by pressing your thumb into each gnocco or by rolling each one on a  fork (as in potato gnocchi) This is not just for look: the indent helps catching the sauce better.
Plonk them into salted simmering water and cook for few minutes from the moment they come afloat. Remove them with a spider and dress them with the sauce. These gnocchi are rather sturdy and you could even sauté them in the pan containing the sauce.

Notes:
I have made ‘ndunderi with bog-standard supermarket ricotta and with home made almost-ricotta (aka, fresh cheese) – they are always a winner.
They keep very well in the fridge for at least a  couple of days: place the formed, uncooked ‘ndunderi  in a try heavily dusted with semola flour, sprinkle extra semola on top and loosely cover with cling film. You could also cook them in advance, shock them in icy water, drain them on a cloth and refrigerate (reheat them in the simmering sauce)

On the cheese to use: one could also use provolone or caciocavallo, instead of the pecorino.

 

 

13 thoughts on “‘Ndunderi di Minori, nella costiera amalfitana (ricotta gnocchi from Minori, on the Amalfi coast)

  1. This is a good solid recipe. I’ve made potato gnocchi many time, but never had great luck with flour based gnocchi. You’ve done such an excellent job of making this sound easy that I must give it a try. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. ciao Ron
      thanks. I have never been a great fan of potato gnocchi: I like making them, but I have always found them a little boring… gimme ricotta gnocchi any day. If u r interested there is also a good easy recipe for carrot gnocchi somewhere here on the blog (derived from Hazan and then much re-worked): carrot or pumpkin – delicious
      ciao
      stefano

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  2. Sounds like a winner, Stefano. Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever made ricotta dumplings. But now you’ve reminded me that they’ve been on my ‘to do’ list for years. And do I like ‘easy peasy’ recipes, as you know.

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    1. I think this is a winner – let me know should u try (by the way… far, far, far easier than the famous Zuni Cafe’s ricotta gnocchi)

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  3. I’m glad you mention the alternate cheeses for the pecorino. As you probably can imagine, pecorino – other than pecorino Romano – is hard to find here. Provolone will be my substitute. I actually have 250grams of fresh goat ricotta in the fridge, and just made a batch of pesto with the end of the summer basil. They should go nicely together…

    Actually, as of late, I have been obsessed with making pesto di maggiorana (from my corzetti post) – it is so fragrant and floral. I imagine it would go nicely with the ndunderi.

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    1. Yes, David: I think the maggiorana best is a wonderful companion to the ricotta gnocchi
      … on cheese: yesterday I did a wonderful cheese making class: more that 8 hrs immersed in whey and cultures! if u have anything similar, I highly recommend it: cheese making is easier than most people think… and you will be able to make your own pecorino…of course one can buy the most wonderful cheese these day, but it is still fun and potentially useful.s

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  4. Looking at these I just know they will taste ‘good’! Easy to make and not too sinful 🙂 ! Love the history lesson as well!! Ipso facto: shall make and shall pass on . . .

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    1. what I really love about these gnocchi is that they are a really easy to make and they taste delicious, much quicker than hand made pasta I think

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  5. … as far as I know, most gnocchi (of whatever ingredient they are made of) are generally called “gnocchi”… then u can have: potato gnocchi, pumpkin gnocchi ecc… however, there are then few exceptions that bear a more local, particular name: like gnudi, which are also called “strozzapreti” in other parts of italy or “malfatti” (gnudi is a Tuscan terminology if I am not wrong) + these ‘ndnuderi are very “local”, at least their name is… ask a person from the North and he/she would not know what they are…in contemporary Italian cooking these would be called, at a more general, national level, “gnocchi di ricotta”— hum… hope it makes sense….anyhow… they are delicious and very easy to make. s

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  6. These sound lovely, Stefano. I’ve always been a bit confused by the different names for various types of gnocchi … I grey up making Elizabeth David’s version, which I think is closer to what these days we’d call gnudi. Or am I wrong?

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