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Monday 2 June 2014

Gluten Free: Ricotta Dumplings

I think you'll all agree that gnocchi is ideal for those days when you can't decide between mashed potato or pasta. We take ours pretty seriously with gluten free and sweet potato versions alongside the regular stuff. As far as comfort food goes, it's definitely in our top ten. Now, take the comforting pillowiness of gnocchi and add cheese. Interested? I thought you might be.

Ricotta dumplings are quicker to make than potato gnocchi because there's nothing to pre-cook, just bung everything in a bowl, mix and shape! The indentations help the dumplings to cling on to your favourite sauce, but they're by no means essential. Sometimes I'm just too hungry to start faffing about with that sort of thing.

Ricotta Dumplings (serves 2 hungry people)
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes
You'll need:
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 100g rice flour (I use Dove's Farm Rice Flour)
  • 100g tapioca flour
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • a generous grinding of black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
Make it!
  1. Drain any liquid from the ricotta and crumble it into a bowl.
  2. Add the flours, chilli flakes, pepper and egg yolks and mix everything together with your hand. You'll end up with a pliable, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Take a chunk of the dumpling dough and roll into a sausage, about 1 cm thick. Repeat until you've used up all the dough.
  4. Cut the sausages into 1cm slices to make your dumplings. To make the indentations, pull a fork gently over each dumpling, rolling the dumpling up the length of the tines.
  5. Leave the dumplings to rest in a cool place while you bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
  6. Drop the dumplings into the boiling water (carefully!) and cook for about 3 minutes. The dumplings will pop up to the surface of the water when they're ready.
  7. Drain the dumplings and toss in your favourite pasta sauce.
I find that the mildness of the ricotta works with most pasta sauces and pesto. For an easy tomato sauce, gently fry a diced onion, carrot and celery stick and a crushed garlic clove in a little oil. Add a tin of cherry tomatoes and half a tin of water and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in some chopped basil leaves.

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