My dad doesn't eat vegetables or anything green and even he liked this dish when I made him taste it with his eyes closed. This spicy dumpling pasta-like dish is comfort food that magically looks elegant. We all know leafy greens are really good for you...I happen to love them, but you will love this dish even if you don't.
salt & pepperred pepper flakes, pepper, and nutmeg to taste (I use ~1/2 of a fresh nutmeg grated with a microplane)
red pepper flakes
nutmeg to taste (I use ~1/2 of a fresh nutmeg grated with a microplane)
Defrost the spinach. Remove as much liquid as you can.
Bring a pot of water to boil.
While you wait, start your sauce by heating the olive oil over medium/medium-high heat until the butter is mostly melted. Add the peperoncino, shallot, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and basil.
Once the garlic looks cooked but is not yet brown, add the tomatoes. taste and adjust seasoning. If it tastes too acidic, add a pinch of sugar. Once the tomatoes are brought to temperature lower the heat to simmer and cover for 20-30 minutes. If a smoother consistency is desired, blend the sauce.
In a food processor combine the spinach, egg, ricotta, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pulse 5-10 times.
Add the flour and breadcrumbs. Pulse until it begins to form a ball and ingredients are mixed well.
With wet hands, make 1-inch balls of dough and drop into salted, boiling water. When they float, remove them from the water and place on a rack or in a collander to drain. I like to turn off the sauce add the gnudi to the sauce so they absorb some of the flavors. Serve with grated parmesan and chopped basil.