When I first discovered ricotta, I was in cream cheese heaven. It was mindblowingly tasty. On top of that it is also quite a healthy cream cheese and extremely versatile as it works for savory dishes just as well as for sweet desserts. The wonderful thing about this particular dish is that it is perfectly suited for meal preps, as it can be easily reheated and still tastes awesome. This recipe makes for four servings as a main dish and takes approximately 45 minutes.
Ingredients for the dumplings
- 2-3 generous handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 cup of ricotta
- ¼ cup of grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Ingredients for the sauce
- 28 ounces (850 ml) of whole, peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of native olive oil
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
Start off with the sauce. The secret to a perfectly-flavored tomato sauce is the time you allow it to simmer, as this enables the spices to truly infuse. So any minute more is a minute that will work in your favor. For the tomato sauce, use a large pan and on a medium heat. Chop the garlic cloves into tiny dices and add them to the pan with the oil. After approximately one minute, add the peeled tomatoes and tomato paste. Once everything is well blended, add the salt, pepper and basil leaves. Then let it simmer on a low to medium heat.
Now it’s time to focus on our dumplings. For this, grate the zucchini into a bowl, add the salt, mix it well and let them rest for ten minutes. During this time, the salt will drain the zucchini of liquid and therefore help the dumplings achieve a good texture. Afterwards, pour the zucchini flakes into the center of a kitchen towel and twist it over the sink to let all the excess liquid run out. Then, chop the spinach leaves into smaller bits and add them to the bowl. Mix the zucchini and spinach and then add the ricotta, parmesan and egg, as well as the cayenne and ground pepper, and whisk it all in until nicely blended. The dough is now ready.
The grand finale, a.k.a. the next step, is bringing a large pot to the boil. Ideally this should have 2.5 inches/6-7 centimeters of water in it. Use 2 tablespoons and scoop out a golf ball-sized portion with one of the tablespoons and solidify the dough a bit by using the second spoon. Let the ball glide into the water. Repeat the process until you have a good quantity of dumplings in the water without them laying on each other. The dumplings are ready when they float onto the surface.