Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hearty Ricotta Dumplings

I love a good dumpling.

The first time I tried to make them with ricotta cheese, they did not turn out good.

I tweaked my recipe every time I attempted them, and after multiple failures (meaning they would immediately dissolve or fall apart when dropped into boiling water), I believe I've found The Ones.

They're soft and firm at the same time without being 'doughy,' and you can sneak almost any kind of finely-shredded and sauteed veggie into them that you want.

A great go-to when you're surrounded by winter greens and winter winds. Here's what I did:

Hearty Ricotta Dumplings
Makes enough for around six hungry people.

1 15-oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour (don't use whole wheat this time- 
it'll make these guys too dense and will add to the fall-apart factor)
3 eggs
2 packed cups of washed and chopped greens of your choice
(I've used Swiss chard, spinach, kale, the dark green tops of Romaine lettuce,
and also finely shredded carrots, zucchini and yellow squash!) 
3 cloves garlic, minced
~1/2 tsp oregano
~1 TBS sherry vinegar
salt to taste

your favorite marinara, at least 1 quart

Saute greens and/or veggies in some olive oil with garlic, salt and oregano until wilted/tender.
Once wilted, add vinegar and continue cooking until most of the moisture has evaporated,
then remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Mix ricotta, parm, and eggs in large bowl.
Add slightly cooled greens and mix. Add flour. Mixture should be thick.

Meanwhile, heat a deep pot of water with some salt to boiling, and warm your marinara. Keep them close together
because you'll be fishing out dumplings from the boiling water and dropping them directly into the sauce.

Once the water is boiling, drop heaping spoons of ricotta mixture gently into the water. I didn't put more than
3-4 dumplings in the pot at a time. Watch them closely, and as soon as they float take them out.
Overcooking will make them start falling apart in the water.

Place finished dumplings directly into heated marinara without stirring, cover, and keep at a low temp until they're
all done. Serve with more parm on top and a chunk of crusty bread for wiping up the sauce!

Make leftovers into a sandwich, much like you'd make a meatball sub, and cross two dinners off your weekly to-do list... that is, if there are any leftovers!


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