Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Ricotta & Herb Dumplings

What makes dumplings so great? Their pillow-like perfection? The dreamy ease of making them? Their outstanding versatility? Maybe its just that they are comfort food. Happy, warm, comfort food. And with this winter chill in the air, that is certainly the order of the day.

Any which way you look at it, dumplings rock. (Unless they are too dense, in which case, they are rocks. But fret not, this recipe isn't rock-like. Promise.)

Made with basic pantry staples, they are a quick delight, and (bonus!) great to make with kids. You can also make them ahead, and freeze. And who doesn't like that? Try them in soup too...something brothy.

I made these for a most wonderful friend, who was feeling the winter blahs...she declared they are the perfect winter food...with just a hint of summer. I couldn't agree more. (Well, I could, but it wouldn't be too smart.)

Try them and enjoy.

1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
1/4 cup grated semi-hard goat cheese
1/4 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan
2 cups flour
1 egg, yolk and white seperated
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs. I used basil and tarragon
pinch of salt

Pesto to serve. Jarred works fine.

Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a bowl, combine the cheese, flour, eggs yolks, pepper and herbs. Stir to combine. The dough should be a bit stiff. Add a touch more flour if it seems too wet.

In another bowl, whip the egg white with the salt until it forms medium peaks.

Fold the egg whites in to the cheese in three parts. Combine well.

Scoop a bit of the cheese into the palm of your hand. Cup it gently and form in to a (an American) football shape.

Drop in to the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Skim out the dumplings and dry on a towel. Serve with brown butter or pesto.

Makes about 20 dumplings


Savory dumplings are mounds of dough that are dropped into a liquid and cooked until done. - Thank you, Epicurious, for that insighful definition.

Even more excellent info, this time from the beloved Oxford Companion to Food: "Dumpling. A term of uncertain origin which first appeared in print at the beginning of the 17th century, athough the object it denotes--a small and usually globular mass of boiled or steamed dough--no doubt existed long before that."

And because I know you want to read them...here are the
lyrics to Sugar Dumpling, by Sam Cooke.

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I always make dumplings to go with stew, but these are much fancier than anything I do.
They remind me so much of a gnocci that I wrote about recently - with the difference being that the gnocci used mashed potato rather than flour, and they were pan fried once they had been boiled. They look delicious.
perfect cold weather food--though maybe that hint of summer will bring some warm weather back our way!
These look absolutely fantastic! What a great combo - the different cheeses. Like Erin said, perfect for cold weather - like we're having now!
I've just got gnocchi mastered, I think I need to try dumplings.
Just found your site and really like it.
Certainly like the phyllo asparagus!!!
Rachael, just noticed I spelled your name wrong. So sorry! It's been a lifetime thing for me too, everyone spelling the name wrong. I just fixed it!
These look fabulous. My sister has a gnochi recipe she swears by that reminds me of these--and though you serve them with pesto I can't help but long for a great fresh tomato sauce with it.

I'm printing this off for my menu this week. Thanks.
hi! i'm a new reader and i love your blog :0) the pic for this looked so yummy. i tried it exactly, but it turned out soooo runny. i kept adding more and more flour, but it never bulked! what do u think i'm doing wrong!?
Anon - That is SUCH a bummer! Did you drain the ricotta? I dont know what to say...next time, try that first.

And (she adds, sheepishly) thanks for reading!

i tried this recipe, and they fell apart completely and utterly. so what i was left with was... seasoned cheese porridge. oh don't get me wrong, i still ate it, and it was still delicious, but if i were to try it again, i would add significantly more flour and maybe an extra egg.
OMG, no wonder, there is a typo in the recipe! I have change it (there was 1 full cup too much ricotta.)

THANK YOU, to everyone who noticed!

SORRY to everyone who tried it and it didnt work!
These looked so tasty I had to give them a try but I used cheese that was too soft. I needed to add much more flour to get them to stick together. I served them with a fresh tomato salsa that was pretty good.
Hey, great recipe! Not too complex, just good Italianate soul food. :) I did drain the ricotta and used fresh basil, served with browned thyme and bay leaf butter. Yum yum.

I would recommend using 1 1/2 c flour and 1 grated/riced potato instead of 2 c flour--gives a nice texture and heartier flavor. :) I did these the traditional gnocchi way and rolled them out as a dough then cut them into squares and pressed with a fork to hold sauce.

Anyway, the whole household loved these, thanks for the recipe! Blessings.
u r blog Is very nice
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i think this is called a gnudi
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