Monday, January 30, 2012

Ricotta Dumplings in Strawberry Sauce




From the moment my eyes on Lidia Bastianich's Sweet Ricotta Dumplings with Strawberry Sauce, I knew they were coming to my home. Have you ever glanced at a recipe and suddenly found yourself obsessed with making it - yesterday?

I thought - February - for Valentine's Day. A berry-red soup-sauce with snowy dumplings - who could wait? Not me. I indulged - telling myself that because the dumplings were boiled and not fried - these were "January-healthy." "January-healthy" calls for robust - that's my new definition. It has fruit (vitamins) and cheese (calcium).


The recipe hails from northern Trentino-Alto Adige - a province that gives a wink and a nod to both Italian and German cooking. The dumplings (which are actually not sweet) are boiled and then sauteed - becoming like a custard when cooked.

Sweet Ricotta Dumplings with Strawberry Sauce - from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
Canederli di Ricotta (makes 18 canederli -dumplings; serves 6 - it served 8)

Strawberry Sauce
6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Canederli/Dumplings
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 pound fresh ricotta, drained
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour



Strawberry Sauce
Put strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. As the berries give up their juices and it starts to bubble, adjust heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 8 minutes - until the berries are soft and the juices are slightly syrupy. Cover and keep warm. (Can be made ahead. Reheat before serving.)


Dumplings (Canederli)
(Note: While Lidia says to make this after dinner - I did boil them ahead of time and then briefly ran them threw the simmering butter while the guests waited.)

For the dough: Put ricotta in large bowl and whisk it. Blend in eggs and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add flour and gently fold the flour into the ricotta until all is incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. (I refrigerated the dough for 30 minutes which made it easier to handle).

Fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water, add the tablespoon of salt and heat to a boil. Put the butter in a large skillet and melt the butter over a low flame. Keep warm.

When water boils, reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Using an ice cream scoop that has been submerged in a  glass of cold water (prevent mixture from sticking), scoop up some ricotta mixture and with floured hands, form into a ball (I just used the ice cream scoop and didn't play with the mixture. I tend to be - expedient.). Dispense scooped mixture into simmering water. Repeat. (I did about 3 at a time). Keep the ice cream scoop moistened with the cold water. Let the dumplings cook without stirring. Once they have risen to the top, simmer for 5-7 minutes. You can test if for doneness by pressing into the dumplings - they should feel solid and spring back. If too soft, simmer for another minute.

Lift out the dumplings (Lidia says use "a spider.") and let them drain over the pot and then gently roll them in the warmed butter. Turn off heat and let them sit and firm up for a minute.

To serve: Arrange canederli/dumplings in large-rimmed platter, pouring warmed strawberry sauce over all. or - simply put dumplings in individual dishes with a few tablespoons of strawberry sauce.


Notes: I was successful doing these ahead of time. The 1/4 cup dumplings were very filling. I couldn't finish mine! (Maybe it was the wedge of Brie, the aged Provolone and the Fettuccine with Sausage Ragu that preceded the meal?) But with lightly floured fingers, I would make smaller dumplings. And let them swim in the strawberry soup. And later I will make them with raspberries or blackberries or cherries and maybe take the ricotta dumplings and "herb" them and serve them with a savory sauce or as an appetizer... I foresee a huge future for this recipe.

51 comments:

Tina said...

I do understand the obsession! This looks amazing with such brilliant color contrast. I am sure it would taste heavenly. Awesome post-keep them coming Claudia!

Mister Meatball said...

I've been on an Alto Adige wine kick lately, and so you provide me an idea for when the V-Day comes around.

And Maine is ripe with fresh strawberries this time of year.

Oh, wait....

Claudia said...

Never said I was a locavore. Have another glass of wine. I'll join you.

Marina@Cowboycountryvegetarian said...

Oh yes, I am obsessed with one dish too. Can't wait to make it. I love what you made. What a great combination of flavors!

Achu's Amma's Kitchen said...

wow super strawberry recipe....i like the color contrast..awesome

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, Perfect for Valentine's Day. This is something that I never had. Ricotta dumplings sound delicious. The strawberry sauce looks beautiful. Blessings my friend, Catherine xo

Sudha said...

Ohh,this lovely jumble of white and pink sure looks just like Valentine's Day stuff:)Very cute and must taste heavenly!I think this needs to come in to my home too now;)

Anne said...

Oh! the possibilities. I agree!
Anything with berries is my kind of recipe.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Do you think the ricotta dumplings would taste more like dessert if they had a little sugar amd lemon zest added to them? They look so pretty swimming in the strawberry sauce, Claudia!
I can also see how they would taste good flavored with herbs,and added to a broth, sort of like Italian dumplings! I'll definitely try them.

Claudia said...

I rather liked them not sweet - getting all the sweetness from the berry sauce. I would reduce some of the flour (they will be stickier) to get more of a silky custard.

Kim said...

I'm much like you when looking through cookbooks. There are always a few recipes that catch my immediate attention. This looks like a fantastic dessert. I love the presentation.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

January healthy sounds perfect to me Claudia. I love the color contrast - what a great treat just in time for Valentine's day.

Lizzy said...

Oooh, I an see why you were tempted by this recipe! I'd love to dive into that bowl of deliciousness!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

awesome I get obsessed with recipes too :-)

Kathy said...

This dish looks fabulous! I love the contrast of the red berries and dumplings. I'm sure this had to be delicious!

Angela said...

Yum! What a pretty treat.

Reeni said...

How strikingly beautiful! I've seen her make these many times - don't know what's kept me from making them. They're delectable!

Pegasuslegend said...

Wow what a mouth watering delight you really aced this one my sweet friend!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is a heavenly dish. It kind of reminds me of strawberries and cream, only the roles are swapped and the cream is in the form of cheesy pasta. Fabulous!

Lynda said...

I have a huge weakness for strawberries any time of year Claudia, but with these wonderfull ricotta dumplings, I think I'd just have this for dinner - and dessert! Beautiful!

SKIP TO MALOU said...

the weather today in STL today is spring like and in January it's like a miracle... now looking at the strawberry sauce in contrast with the ricotta dumpling makes me feel like it's definitely springtime... haha. love it!
malou

Lyndsey said...

Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about! This looks amazing. I just wish you brought it to my table! :)

Christy said...

These are really adorable, and so symbolic of the lovey dovey atmosphere of the upcoming Valentine's Day!:)
Love these dumplings and plus point on the strawberry sauce ;)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Yes I have glanced at a recipe and fallen in love right away. This is so pretty Claudia. No wonder you knew it would be great.
Sam

Aarthi said...

This is my favorite..YUMMY

Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Katherine Aucoin said...

I was thinking Valentine's Day too when I saw your photo, but now i salivating and will most likely be stopping at the grocery to make this for dessert!

Juliana said...

Wow, Claudia, these are amazing...ricotta dumplings and strawberries, perfect match!
Italian and German fusion :)
Have a great week!

Cucina49 said...

Oh. My. These look amazing! I've never made ricotta dumplings, but they were on my list and now I need to move them to the top.

Hutchinsons said...

Oh My! My kids would love these!!

Mary said...

These look wonderful and the combination sounds delicious. You've never led me astray, so the recipe has been bookmarked and will be tried. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Malli said...

A perfect introduction for Valentine's Day:) Thanks for sharing the recipe

Proud Italian Cook said...

What a great idea, ricotta clouds in strawberry sauce! I agree, perfect for Valentines Day!

Kristen said...

Those are amazing! What a wonderfully different dessert. I can see why you just couldn't wait til February to make them.

myfrenchkitchen said...

Very original..I have never had dumplings in a strawberry sauce...looks so appetizing.
Ronelle

Jill @ MadAboutMacarons said...

Claudia, I love this idea and can totally relate about becoming excited about a recipe. I'd love to try this - either with a couple of dumplings for fun on St Val's or rename it, as hubby has this thing about not liking dumplings (after a visit to Prague, bless.) This looks sensational!

Angie's Recipes said...

Who wouldn't love ricotta and strawberry!? I am thoroughly tempted with the combination.

easyfoodsmith said...

Beautiful and awesome dish. The colours of the sauce look ravishing and perfect for Valentine Day!

FOODESSA said...

The Ricotta and berry lover in me is thrilled with your combo.
This is quite different and worth adding it into my to-do list of goodies to try ;o)

Have a lovely weekend.
Ciao for now,
Claudia

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I love ricotta dumplings! Thanks fro sharing this recipe!!

Joanne said...

Wow what a fun dessert! I've never seen anything like this before!

Jay said...

wow..lovely presentation with great flavors..
Tasty Appetite

Katerina said...

This is absolutely perfect and appropriate sweet for Valentine's! Strawberries afterall are always connected with love and affection!

Beth said...

That really is a beautiful Valentine's Day (or late January) dessert. I'm loving the strawberries!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Claudia! What a nice dessert post before V-day! I've never made strawberry sauce before but I bet it goes so well with your Canederli! The fruit sauce is so versatile like you said. I'd love to see what you come up next with all the different berries too! Thanks for making me very hungry! ;-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, that is a wonderful dessert! Surely divine tasting. Perfect for Valentine's Day.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lori Lynn said...

Seriously?
Fabulous!

My friends and family will be thanking you soon Claudia.
LL

Roz said...

Wow, I've just figured out something for Valentine's Day. I read so many wonderful recipes and cookbooks, that their piled up and stored everywhere. It's a crazy obsession since the late 70s when I learned how to cook!

I'm pinning this gorgeous treat on Pintecrest. I love Lidia and have about all of her cookbooks by now!

Stay warm up there if this new storm system from Colorado hits you in Minnesota. My hometown of Ames, Iowa will most likely get slammed, and then it will probably dump on my son in Chicago! Brrrr!

Magic of Spice said...

Those dumplings are just divine, and although I am allergic to strawberries I bet these would be delightful with any fruit :)

Island Vittles said...

How did I miss this? This recipe looks simply delicious...and perfect for Valentines Day! Theresa (and I will take you tip for smaller dumplngs...)

Jann said...

I will be making this!

Barbara GF said...

This dish struck a heart string for sure, Claudia. I have wanted to make this for a while and am now convinced.