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John Sebastian's Story of Ravioli Nudi

About the Recipe

John's story of Ravioli Nudi



I was one of those lucky kids who got to go to Italy for five summers while my classical musician Dad played concerts all over Europe. He parked us all in Fiesole, outside Florence, and the family had a divine cook named Rita, from the Po valley,

whose kitchen magic never stopped. One of the most amazing dishes she would occasionally produce was ravioli nudi (or gnudi) a frustratingly simple dish of kale, eggs and cheese that was like ravioli without the pasta.

Winter would come and we’d be back in New York, missing our heavenly dish. Our neighbor who had come to Italy with us was also obsessed with the recipe. My Mom would shake her head, having tried it countless times and failed. Our neighbor would come across the hall with another attempt. My brothers and I were the guinea pigs on this because we wouldn’t lie. And she never got it. It wouldn’t stick together or it would turn into a disappointing, soupy mess.

It was years later, eating with Francesco Buitoni (yeah, that Buitoni) that I was finally served perfect ravioli nudi. In an Italian tradition, I asked if there was a small apartment available above the restaurant.

Mangiate bene!

-John Sebastian


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