I’m all about a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Whether it's quesadillas, stir-fry, quick pastas or simple grilled fish, my motto has always been the faster and easier, the better. Who wants to slave away in the kitchen on a Monday night? Not this girl.
Ah, but then there's the weekend. Sometimes, on a slow Sunday afternoon (accompanied by a glass of wine or two), I'll challenge myself with an ambitious recipe. Something a bit out of my comfort zone that I would love to eat, but might hesitate to try. It’s a great way to save a little extra cash — skip the fuss and expense of dining out and make that $25 pasta dish yourself! It’s a satisfying and rewarding experience to crank out a restaurant-level dish in your own kitchen.
These ricotta dumplings are just the sort of ambitious weekend cooking project I love. Just as pillowy as traditional potato gnocchi, these dumplings are lighter and more delicate than their starchier counterpart. Sure, there are some steps involved, but you don’t need a pasta machine or an entire day to make these. They're surprisingly accessible and well worth the extra time and effort.
Feel free to adapt the sauce to your tastes. Keep it easy with a simple tomato sauce or use seasonal ingredients like asparagus, peas or leeks in a lemony broth-based sauce like the recipe below. You could even just brown some butter and add in parsley or basil to freshen things up.
And who knows where this will lead? Maybe next Saturday, you’ll be baking French macarons or whipping up a seafood paella. Or maybe you’ll just be eating ice cream right out of the carton for dinner. No judgment here. Putting on pants is a weekend achievement in my book.
Ricotta dumplings recipe
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes
For the dumplings
- 1-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta, drained
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for boiling
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup flour, plus more for shaping dumplings
For the sauce
- 8 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a food processor, combine ricotta, eggs, salt and Parmesan and pulse until just combined.
- Add in flour and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a medium-size bowl.
- Using a spoon, measure about a tablespoon of dumpling batter and level it out.
- Gently flour a clean, dry work surface. Using your finger, gently push the batter onto the work surface. Dust the dumplings with a little more flour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Gently drop each dumpling in the water and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd the dumplings in the pot. They should float to the top and double in size.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings.
- Add in the asparagus to the still-boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus and place it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on a paper towel.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer and place the dumplings in the pan.
- Add the garlic, butter, asparagus, chives and lemon juice. Gently toss everything together and cook for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with additional grated Parmesan cheese.