Ricotta Dumplings with Pumpkin and Crispy Sage

Cook time 40 minutes
Servings 4 as entree or 2 as main

Ingredients

400g good-quality full-fat ricotta, drained of any excess liquid
2 egg yolks
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
30g freshly grated parmesan, plus extra shaved parmesan to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting (see note)

Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
500g butternut pumpkin, cut into 1.5cm cubes
30g butter
8 sage leaves
70g hazelnuts, chopped
1 tbsp capers

Ricotta Dumplings with Pumpkin and Crispy Sage

Method

Place the ricotta, egg yolks, nutmeg, lemon zest, parmesan and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the flour and very gently incorporate with your hands to form a tacky dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour until it is just workable. Don’t overmix.

Line a tray with baking paper and sprinkle with a little flour. Flour a clean work surface and your hands and knead the dough very gently three or four times. The gentler you are the lighter the dumplings will be.

Again flouring your work surface and hands so the dough doesn’t stick, cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece of dough to form a 22cm sausage, then cut into 1.5cm dumplings (they will expand once cooked). Arrange in a single layer on the prepared tray.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat, add the pumpkin and cook, tossing in the oil, for 8 minutes until just tender and golden brown. Add the butter, sage and capers and cook until the butter foams up. Continue to cook until the butter reaches noisette stage – when the milk solids turn brown and the butter smells nutty. Add the hazelnuts and toss for 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a gentle boil. (If the water is rapidly boiling, the dumplings can break up during cooking.) Add the dumplings and poach for 1–2 minutes until they rise to the surface. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and put straight into the sauce. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss once or twice to coat the dumplings in the sauce and serve with a little extra shaved parmesan.

Note: Plain flour works for these dumplings but will make them heavier. Tipo 00 flour can be found at most supermarkets now.