Spinach-Ricotta Dumplings with Red Pepper Sauce

  • Active Time 50m
  • Total Time 50m

Serves 4-6

These light dumplings are made from the filling commonly used in stuffing ravioli. They are called ravioli nudi, "naked ravioli," because they lack a pasta covering.


  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 large, fleshy red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water or chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional
  • For the Dumplings:
  • 3 bunches spinach, about 1 pound each, stems removed
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus cheese for garnishing
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for dredging
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 10 fresh sage leaves


Use a vegetable peeler to remove the thin skin from the peppers. Cut each in 1/2 lengthwise. Pull out and discard the stem, seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers lengthwise into strips.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers soften, about 10 minutes. Add the water or stock, parsley and basil and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Purée the pepper mixture in a blender or in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the cream, if using.

Rinse the spinach but do not dry. Place in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Drain, squeeze to remove the liquid and chop finely. In a bowl, combine the spinach, eggs, 3/4 cup each of the Parmesan and pecorino romano cheeses, ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper. Stir well until the mixture resembles a thick, slightly stiff batter. Add flour to a shallow dish to a depth of 1/2 inch. Form the ricotta mixture into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter. Roll them lightly in the flour, coating evenly, and place them on a lightly floured tray.

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F. Fill a deep pot 3/4 full with lightly salted water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the dumplings a few at a time. Nudge them occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly. The dumplings are ready when they rise to the surface and then cook for another minute or so. (This will take about 3 minutes in all.)

Lift out the dumplings and drain thoroughly on an absorbent kitchen towel. Place in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons melted butter and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the pepper purée. In a sauté pan over high heat, melt the 1/2 cup butter. Add the sage leaves and sauté, stirring frequently, until the sage leaves are crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Pour the purée onto individual plates and place the dumplings on top. Spoon on the sage leaves and some of the butter. Dust with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 794

nutrition information per serving

578 calories; 42g total fat; 207mg cholesterol; 1133mg sodium; 25g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 31g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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