The Dish: Ricotta Gnudi recipe with Chef Antimo DiMeo from Bardea Food & Drink in Wilmington

Friday, May 31, 2024
The Dish: Ricotta Gnudi from Bardea Food & Drink
We're making a rustic Italian dish from Bardea Food & Drink that's so easy, it only has five ingredients.

WILMINGTON (WPVI) -- In today's The Dish, we're making a rustic Italian dish that's so easy, it only has five ingredients.

It's called gnudi, or as they describe it at Bardea Food & Drink, "ricotta gnocchi."

James Beard nominated chef Antimo DiMeo shows us the secrets to the star dish on their menu.

"Gnudi means naked" DiMeo says. "It's potatoless. The cheese is the star".

The Dish: Ricotta Gnudi recipe with Chef Antimo DiMeo from Bardea Food & Drink in Wilmington

That's what separates gnudi from gnocchi: this has no potato.

"It's ricotta based, and that's why it's called gnudi," he says. "There's no filler."

The fluffy, cheesy, soft pillows have been on the menu since Bardea Food & Drink opened in Wilmington, Delaware five years ago.

Three months after they opened, they were nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

"I never thought in a million years that would happen," DiMeo says. "Best new restaurant in the country? That changed everything for us."

Two years later, DiMeo was nominated for Best Chef Mid Atlantic.

"It was unbelievable," he says. "It was a goal for me to do that by the time I was 30. That's something I am super proud of."

Gnudi is something he learned from his Nonna Maria when he was a child.

"It's something that I used to make with my grandmother growing up," he says. "That's where a lot of my inspiration comes from."

And it's so easy to make. The dish has just five ingredients.

The first is ricotta impastata.

"You can get it at any store," DiMeo says. "It's just dried ricotta, the kind they use to make cannoli."

The other ingredients include sea salt, Parmigiano Reggiano, egg and double zero flour.

They all go in one bowl and straight to the mixer for a quick mix.

"The key is you don't want to over mix it," DiMeo said. "Once you kind of see all the ingredients come together, mix for another 15 to 20 seconds."

Now, fill a container with that semolina and start scooping, or rolling, into small pillow shapes.

Then, submerge the gnudi in that container of semolina. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

"You want to think ahead for this recipe," DiMeo says. "You make it the night before, and then the semolina creates a little shell around them. Then, the next day, we literally bury them out of the semolina 'sand' as we go. From there, they're ready to go. You're ready to cook them."

The boil on the gnudi is a quick one, about 15-30 seconds.

From there, they go straight into a pan of melted butter, with a little salt and cracked pepper.

The goal is to get them golden brown on both sides. That takes just a few minutes and they're ready!

You can enjoy them as they are, or add sauce. At Bardea, they serve the gnudi with tomato sauce, some basil oil and grated cheese.

Ricotta Gnudi Recipe


  • 220g ricotta impastata

  • 25g "00" flour

  • 1 whole egg

  • 15g Parmigiano Reggiano

  • 5g salt


1. Combine all ingredients and mix for one minute on medium speed in a mixer.

2. Add semolina to a container.

3. Take an ice cream scooper and scoop out small shapes onto parchment paper.

4. Roll into balls (or leave in natural form) and submerge in semolina "bath."

5. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

6. Remove gnudi from semolina and add to salted, boiling water for 45 seconds.

7. Optional: Add to hot sauté pan with butter, salt and cracked pepper and crisp outer layer, saute until golden brown.

8. Plate atop tomato sauce, drizzle with olive oil, add fresh basil and grate cheese on top

Bringing Bardea to Market Street Wilmington's booming culinary scene

When DiMeo and his business partner and co-owner Scott Stein opened Bardea, they ended up calling it "ricotta gnocchi" on the menu.

"When we called it 'gnudi,' people didn't understand what the dish was," says Stein. "So we tell them about it tableside."

DiMeo and Stein have truly invested in Wilmington, with multiple eateries along Market Street.

"We're Philadelphia guys first, but Wilmington has become like our new home," says Stein.

They count President Joe Biden, a Wilmington native, and First Lady Jill Biden, among the clientele.

"I was so excited to cook for them," DiMeo says. "The President ordered spaghetti meatballs. I made him the best spaghetti meatballs we ever could make. That was the goal.

DiMeo comes from a family of pizzaiolos from Napoles, Italy.

His father opened in Wilmington first, with DiMeo's Pizza down the street.

In 2019, Antimo and Scott joined the mission to make the main strip of Market Street a culinary destination.

"When people come downtown, they see what a charming city it is," Stein says. "People fall in love with it."

Directly next to Bardea, in an open space, is The Garden at Bardea.

"A lot of cities don't have an open space like this," Stein says. "You can dine outside."

On the other side of The Garden is Bardea Steak.

"It's not your typical, quintessential steakhouse," Stein says. "It's more of a restaurant that puts a focus on meat."

Down the street, at the base of the historic DuPont Building, is a food hall where you can find their Pizzeria Bardea.

And right across the street from Bardea Food & Drink, they're about to open their latest venture later this year. The idea is that the food will be a little more rustic Italian.

"It's actually going to be something that is going to be close to the cooking that my Nonna would do," DiMeo says.

For more information, visit:

620 N. Market Street

Wilmington, Delaware 19801

(302) 426-2069