Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pasta, peas and prosciutto with a side of ricotta dumplings...

We managed to push out 10 new recipes this past week - it was a little tough to pick out favorites, but we selected the Pistachio Moments, Top and Bottom Crust Pizza and the Spiced Apple Cider Muffins as our three favorites.

Every once in awhile we grab an import food magazine to browse through and get ideas - tonight's dinner, Ricotta Dumplings with Orecchiette, Peas and Prosciutto, came from a UK magazine called Delicious and this recipe certainly fits in with the magazines title.

Right off the bat, the dumpling batter is prepared and chilled in the refrigerator until it is cooked - I'm not sure how long you could hold the mixture, but it was probably a couple hours before we used it. I thought this mixture was a little fickle - it will depend on how liquid-y your ricotta is. I made sure to test 1 dumpling first as the batter looked a little thin - it didn't seem to cook up right, so I added about 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour, until the batter looked a little thicker, and this time the dumpling cooked up about right.

Before you start cooking the dumplings though, the pasta mixture is made - however, get your pot of salted water ready to cook the dumplings. Small ear-shaped pasta called orecchiette is cooked until al dente, drained and lightly tossed with a bit of olive oil to help prevent any sticking issues. You could just rinse until cold water, but I find this pasta tends to nestle into each other and may cause issues. After some chopped onions are softened, a bit of white wine, followed by sliced salty prosciutto, peas and the cooked pasta are added and left just long enough to heat the combination through.

While the above is happening, the ricotta is dropped by teaspoonfuls into the salted water that you already brought to a boil - it takes just a minute or two to fully cook each batch. You don't want to add too many at once, so keep that in mind when you pick of the size of the pot you want to cook them in. The meal is complete with a couple tablespoons of mint for a fresh finish - we also added a touch of grated Parmesan on top. This dish could also handle a drizzle of olive oil right before serving to add an extra dose of flavor. The shape of pasta was a good choice - the pockets helped to grab a hold of the tiny peas and sliced prosciutto. We thought the cheesy dumplings were the highlight though - I loved how that little pinch of nutmeg heightened their flavor. The dumplings were not "pillow-y" light in texture, but they were not too heavy either. There was a downside to this recipe... it filled the sink with quite a few bowls, skillets and pots!



  1. Joe, I think I'm just going to plan on following your menus for the most part. I've yet to have a dud from something I took from your blog. Tomorrow I've got the chicken, edamame and udon noodle thing from a week or so ago on the menu and I think this one will make next week's menu. Thanks for all the inspiration you give me.

  2. I think this sounds wonderful!

    I'm you pick your favorite recipes at the end of the year

  3. Beautiful pictures, Joe. I often put pasta, proscuttio and peas together so adding ricotta dumplings will make a nice change.

    I think I'll save this for a special weekend dinner :)

  4. Robyn - I hope you enjoy the dishes as much as we do!

    Emiline - I've thought about it, but there are just so many we make it is hard to choose!

    Angela - Yes, you are right to wait for this until plenty of time to make it! It was worth the effort and mess I thought!