I have a wonderful friend…I won’t name names, you know who you are….who has been promising to teach me how to make gnocchi. She tells me she is waiting for the potato crop to be up to her exacting standards, so that I get the very best gnocchi-making lesson possible. So I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting – I think I am on my fifth potato crop at this point, and I’m absolutely sure it will all be worth it when the potatoes are finally up to snuff. But in the meantime, I’m satisfying my jones for gnocchi with the next best thing, which are light and delicious ricotta dumplings.
Like all dumplings, these babies are made from a soft dough – in this case ricotta cheese, egg, parnesan cheese and flour – dropped into salted water and cooked until they are tender and perfect. Right before I made the dumplings (which take all of about 15 minutes) I cooked up a batch of what I fondly call The Best Tomato Sauce in the World – a quick and luscious tomato butter sauce that will be the only tomato sauce you ever want once you have a taste of it. Click here for that one.
Once the dumplings were ready, I spooned them into a puddle of tomato butter sauce, scattered some fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese on top, and gave the whole thing a nice grinding of black pepper. You are going to want to use a soup spoon for this one to get every last morsel of dumpling and drop of sauce – it’s that dang good.
And I’ll keep you posted on the potato crop. Send good potato crop karma my way.
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 3-4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- Basil leaves for garnish
- Stir together ricotta, eggs and parmesan. Season with a ½ teaspoon or so of fresh ground pepper and a teaspoon of salt. Gently stir in the flour until you have a soft dough - it will be sticky, so don't worry about that!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Gently drop tablespoons of the dough into the water. Boil for five minutes and scoop out with a slotted spoon.
- Serve in soup bowls with your favorite tomato sauce, garnished with fresh basil leaves and extra parmesan and pepper.