Spiced Gnudi with Asparagus

Having already featured asparagus, crispy egg yolk and the roux method in this week’s essentials tutorial, we’ll build on all three of these to make a masterclass dish which looks amazing, tastes even better and is seriously indulgent without being too naughty.

You will need:
250g ricotta
25g grand parmesan
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1 egg, beaten
80g 00 flour

25g butter
25g plain flour
Lare pinch of salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
400ml vegetable stock
10 asparagus spear, bottom halves only (reserve the tips for service)
Large handful of spinach leaves

Pickled cucumber:
Half a cucumber
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Large pinch of salt
Freshly grated pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of maple syrup

2 duck egg yolks

Serves 2

Confit egg:
Heat frying oil to sixty degrees centigrade, then carefully place the egg yolk(s) into the oil and leave to cook for one hour

Heat a dash of oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few minutes until string to turn golden
Add the butter and melt
Add the flour
Leave to cook for a minute or so, stirring the flour in. Then turn off the heat
Add a little vegetable stock to the roux and onions, and keep stirring
Add more of the stock in two or three increments
Raise the temperature again and bring to boil
Add the asparagus stems and keep simmering
Once you’re sure there’s no trace of flour in the flavour or texture of the sauce, add the fresh spinach and wilt
Put through a blender until you reach a smooth and uniform sauce

Get the ricotta into a bowl, and season with salt and pepper
Add grated parmeson, half the flour, chilli flakes, dried dill, sumac and an egg
Mash the whole lot together and combine evenly and thoroughly, adding the rest of the flour as you go
The mixture is very sticky, so make sure you flour your surface, then roll into a sausage shape
Cut in half and roll out again into two long sausages, between 2 and 3 centimetres in diameter
Use a dough scraper or similar tool to cut it into pillow-shaped sections, with roughly square dimensions
Boil in salted water until they rise to the surface – about 2 minutes

Pickled cucumbers:
Meanwhile, pickle some cucumbers
Cut in half, lengthways, remove the core with the tip of a teaspoon, then slice finely
Pour in the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper, then mix thoroughly and leave to stand for 20 minutes

Finally, fry fry the asparagus tips and the boiled gnudi until golden brown
Arrange the gnudi and asparagus around the outside of a plate and the pickled cucumber in the centre
Gently place the egg yolk on top, then finally pour in the velouté