buca recipe

How to make chef Rob Gentile’s signature nodini from the Buca menu

As many of us find ourselves cooking at home instead of dining out, we’re sharing recipes from some of Toronto’s top chefs and restaurants.

At chef Rob Gentile’s Buca restaurants, his signature nodini are a smash hit. “These have been in my family for as long as I can remember,” chef notes. “My mother or aunt started making knots with leftover pizza or bread dough.” Chef admits: “We’re kinda famous for them!”


Makes 30


  • 2 g fresh yeast (or 1 g dry)
  • 168 ml warm water
  • 280 g artisan bread flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Crumble yeast in a countertop mixer, adding warm water to dissolve. (If using dry yeast, dissolve in the warm water and wait a minute or two to allow the yeast to activate.)

Add flour to the mix. Do not add salt yet!

Mix at low speed for 10 minutes, then high speed for two minutes.

After the first five minutes of mixing, sprinkle the salt in evenly over the dough.

Place finished dough in a sealed container and let rest on the countertop at room temperature for one hour.

Next, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s about 1 cm thick, dusting liberally with flour to prevent sticking. Cut into strips about 1 cm in width, and about 5 cm in length. It’s important that these finished knots be 12 to 13 g each, for even cooking time and presentation.

Tie off each strip of dough into a simple knot. If some strips feel a little bigger than others, you can twist a little off the bottom as you tie it.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place knots evenly on it, allowing enough space between for the knots to double in size. Cover the pan loosely with clear food wrap and place somewhere warm for approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake until golden brown in colour. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sea salt, minced garlic and finely chopped rosemary.

While still hot out of the oven, toss nodini in oil mixture and serve right away.

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