Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Dumplings

I’ve been on a Fabio Viviani kick lately. I’ve explored his website and its “Recipeasy” section, and I’ve started following him on Twitter. One of my favorite things about Fabio is the fact that he’s serious about food and very talented in a natural sort of way, yet he doesn’t take himself super seriously as a (now) celebrity chef. If you’ve watched him on Top Chef or followed him outside of the show, you know what I mean. He is always joking around, easing tense moments, cracking jokes, smooth-talking his way in and out of everything, making the gang laugh. Being Italian. He is the “front of house” master. That is what always sends people home! And when it comes down to cooking, he gets into it and rarely disappoints. Even when he got eliminated on this season of Top Chef All-Stars, the judges later said they were too hard on him and his food was still excellent!

More than anything, I admire his approach to cooking and I love that he types exactly the way he talks. It is just plain endearing. Having grown up with someone who talks quite similarly, I can appreciate it. Look at his Twitter page and read his recipes and you can’t help but smile! Back to the food…his whole point in the “Recipeasy” recipes is that they may sound complicated when someone describes them or puts a plate down in front of you at a restaurant and charges $30, but they are actually quite easy to make.

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I made these lovely little gems as a first course, primi, to Baked Fish with Savory Bread Crumbs, segundi. I highly recommend the pair. They were delicious with a cool glass of white wine. Here’s the recipe as I made it, hardly adapted from Fabio’s original recipe:

Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Dumplings

1 lb. squeezed cooked spinach
1 lb. of fresh ricotta, drained (if you cannot find fresh ricotta, BelGioioso Ricotta con Latte® is probably the next closest thing; they carry it at Wegmans)
2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Combine spinach and cheese.
  3. Beat egg and add to mixture.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well.
  5. Scoop with an ice cream scoop and shape into quenelle (What’s that, you ask? In this case, it’s all about the shape of these dumplings!) You can also use two spoons to shape — or even your hands.
  6. Bake on a sheet pan at 475°F for 10 mins.
  7. Serve with sauce of choice. (I drizzled with my Alfredo sauce and it was succulent.)

These dumplings are incredibly moist and tender, and the hint of nutmeg is brilliant, especially if you are serving it with a white cream sauce of any kind. (I love what nutmeg does to a white sauce! Mmm.) With that ratio of spinach to cheese to egg, I promise these will not be dry and will not let you down. YUM!

Oh, and if you’re serving a crowd, I recommend doubling or tripling this recipe. If it is for a first course or side dish, this will generously serve three to four people. If it is an entree, that’s where you’re going to need to multiple to have enough to go around!

About Nina

Nina lives in Buffalo, NY. An adventurous home cook, she loves to eat, cook, bake & enjoy life. She writes/blogs about food, tweets adventures & other passions.

01. March 2011 by Nina
Categories: Recipes, Weeknight Meals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off