Saturday, 4 June 2011

Family Favourite - Ricotta Dumplings with Tomato Sauce

Ricotta Dumplings with Tomato Sauce
I have recently returned from Italy and I have been inspired by the food there. I was struck by how well Italian children eat and pleased to see that junk food played second fiddle to home cooked food. The focus seemed to be on simple, cheap, seasonal foods prepared with love and care. This dish is what family cooking is all about - cheap, easy and tasty and is my daughters favourite dish, to cook and to eat at the moment. I am also going to try using self raising flour, adding some flavours such as lemon or garlic and then frying them to eat as a snack - I will post to let you know the results.

For the dumplings:
200g ricotta cheese
220g plain flour
25g grated parmesan cheese
3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper
For the tomato sauce:
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
6-7 basil leaves

1) Put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. Make the dough by combining all the ingredients for the dumplings and mix to a smooth dough with your hands. Cut dough into 3 pieces and roll out into a long sausage shape and cut into thumb sized pieces.
2) Make the tomato sauce by heating the oil and frying the garlic for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil and season.
3) When the water is boiling add the dumplings. They will rise to the surface when cooked – about 4- 5 minutes. Give about 10 per portion and spoon some of the sauce over. Finish with more grated parmesan and a green salad.

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