Sunday evenings can be a bit sparse on the food front at no 41, especially if we’ve been away for the weekend. Supper (I can’t call it dinner when its so unplanned and its far too late to be tea) is a game of bingo – you know, when you delve in your various cupboards, fridges and freezer and cry bingo! when you find a combination of ingredients that can constitute a meal.
Tonight the fridge contained: two pak choi, six eggs, an almost full tub of ricotta, a rock hard piece of parmesan and a carton of double cream. Hum. Pancakes? Omelette? The problem was I didn’t really want to do creamy. So I opened the computer and searched for recipes with ricotta. Bingo!
A Gennaro Contaldo larder recipe. Ricotta, flour, parmesan, seasoning, garlic, tinned tomatoes, chilies. We had everything except the chilies so I substituted crushed chilies. This took me about half an hour from start to finish and was so simple. The plain dumplings need the contrasting sauce; if you don’t like it spicy, a little bacon should provide the pep it needs.
- 225g ricotta
- 200g flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 30g freshly grated parmesan
- pinch grated nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, cut into thick slices
- sprinkle of crushed chilies
- 1 x 400g tin chopped/plum tomatoes
- basil leaves to dress
- Put the ricotta, flour, egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg, salt & pepper in a bowl and bring together to form a slightly sticky dough; knead for a few minutes.
- Roll your dough into a sausage shape & cut into dumplings - the recipe said 2cm long, I clearly didn't measure mine.
- Cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water - I did mine in two batches, they took about 4 minutes - you'll know they're cooked when they rise to the surface of the water.
- Meanwhile (or before you start cooking the dumplings), make your sauce. Simply fry your garlic slices in a little olive oil for about a minute, add your tin of tomatoes and simmer gently until the sauce reaches your desired consistency (the recipe said 5 minutes but I like a thicker sauce, so cooked it for about 15 minutes).
- Gently mix the drained dumplings with the sauce and serve with a few basil leaves sprinkled on the top.