an ancient gnocchi from the Amalfi coast (‘ndunderi)
|February 7, 2016||Posted by ameliaps under pasta and grains, vegetarian|
‘Ndunderi (a.k.a. Dunderi) – a kind of ricotta gnocchi, with lemon zest
While I live my fast-paced working-mom life in America, wanderlust and nostalgia are often the “modus pensandi” for me when i am at the stove.
I try to transport little bits and pieces of my earlier life in Italy in the daily plates we eat as a family.
I do it for me, because it makes me feel closer to my Italian culture, and I do it for my children, to make them recognize, via their taste buds, where they, at least at 50%, are from.
I assume that one day that “flavor patrimony” will stay with them like a passport of their gene past and a lens to interpret their future.
Today, I made a dish that is at once ancient, micro-regional, and delicious. It’s even fast to prepare… despite the premise of being a “gnocchi” (dumpling), hence requiring hand rolling.
The name is ‘ndunderi. Try saying “‘ndunderi” fast (don’t forget the rolling R), five times…and your tongue will tease you for a long time!
These ancient dumplings even have a recognized and protected status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
They come from a small coastal town (we call them “borgo”) near where i grew up (Sorrento).
The town is Minori, very close to Amalfi. It is actually from this very small town that in the 1700s the original “pastai” (pasta makers) moved to Gragnano (not far from there, just across the Lattari mountains), now capital of Italian pasta making.
Minori is somewhere along this glorious Amalfi coast (below is a picture I took this summer):
‘Ndunderi are a very ancient recipe, possibly a variation on Latin (as in ancient Roman) balls made with “farina caseata” (literally whey-ed flour).
They were originally made made with farro and “latte-cagliato”, curdled milk. I have simplified the recipe from a local version and it currently includes flour, ricotta, egg yolks, and nutmeg.
On my instagram account (which is where i do all the community and sharing and conversations lately, i promised the recipe.
(IF you’d like to see my daily instagram posts, here in the link: https://www.instagram.com/ztastylife/)
Here below is the recipe for ‘Ndunderi.
2 cups ricotta
pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients (except the seasoning) together until a ball forms.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each ball of dough on a floured surface into 3/4-inch diameter dowels. Then cut the dowels into 1-inch long pieces.
Rest them on a tray with a towel until ready to cook.
Bring six quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water a few at a time, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
Cook the gnocchi, stirring gently, until tender, about 5 minutes after they rise to the surface.
Season with melted butter, lemon zest and grated Parmesan cheese.