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How to Make Pillowy, Perfect Ricotta Dumplings

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From pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt’s new cookbook ‘Tartine All Day’

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Paige Green

In her newest book, Tartine All Day, San Francisco-based pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt features a recipe for ricotta dumplings, which she says is one of her favorite dinners — it comes together quickly, is gluten-free (important for her because she has a gluten intolerance), and is ultra satisfying.

“Cheese and tomatoes,” she says, “always just works.” If you don’t have rice or potato flour on hand, two tablespoons of all-purpose will do the trick.

Ricotta Dumplings

Makes 2 servings as a main dish or 4 as a side course

Every culture has a dumpling. Made from humble ingredients, dumplings become a canvas for simple sauces. These ricotta dumplings, which are fluffy and light, are most similar to gnocchi and incredibly versatile. They can be dressed with brown butter, a quick tomato sauce, or made herbaceous by adding 2 Tbsp of chopped basil or sage to the dough. Usually, I poach the dumplings and then add them directly to a sauce or pan-fry them in butter. But my most recent success was to bake them in a shallow pan of Rich Tomato Sauce and then dust with grated Parmesan cheese, enabling them to simultaneously brown on the top while cooking in the sauce. Nothing could be more straightforward in its flavors—the simple combination of tomato and cheese never fails. Note: You may substitute another cheese for the Parmesan. If you use a cheese that has a higher moisture level than Parmesan, such as cheddar, add an additional 1 Tbsp of potato flour to the dough.

1 tsp olive oil
6 oz/170g mixed greens, such as chard leaves, tatsoi, arugula, and spinach
6 oz/170g Ricotta Cheese (homemade, or store-bought)
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp/85g grated Parmesan
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
3 Tbsp potato flour
1/4 cup/55g unsalted butter

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the greens and sauté about 1 minute, until bright green and wilted. Transfer the cooked greens to a piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze and wring to remove all excess moisture. The cooked and squeezed greens should weigh about 2 oz/55g. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked greens, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, rice flour, and potato flour just until the mixture comes together. Portion the mixture into 1 Tbsp log-shaped pieces.

Bring a stockpot of salted water to a simmer. Drop the dumplings into the simmering water a few at a time and cook until they float, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the dumplings out of the water and transfer to a colander to drain. Handle the dumplings gently, as they will be tender.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the dumplings and gently fry about 1 minute, until lightly browned. Serve hot. Store, covered tightly, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently warm in a sauce over low heat.

- Baked Ricotta Dumplings in Tomato Sauce: To bake in a tomato sauce, spoon a layer of the Rich Tomato Sauce in a low, wide casserole dish and top with spoonfuls of the freshly made dumpling dough (without boiling first). Grate a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350°F/180°C for 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Reprinted with permission from Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt, copyright © 2017. Published by Lorena Jones Books/Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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