Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic comfort dish but what about switching out the meatballs for ricotta and spinach dumplings instead? That is exactly what I did when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light and all I can say is oh my goodness are they tasty. They are so good I’m not sure that I will go back to old fashioned meatballs again.
Because the ricotta cheese is featured so prominently in this recipe be sure to use one you really like. Sometimes I make my own (it really is easy) but when I don’t have the time I buy fresh ricotta cheese at my local market. The same goes for the parmesan cheese. I like to grate my own as I need it since it tastes so much better this way. Combined with the spinach, these dumplings remind me of a spinach lasagne repackaged in a new form. They are simply delicious.
RICOTTA & SPINACH DUMPLINGS
- Cook the spinach in the microwave according to package directions then allow it to cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze until very dry. You want to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Combine the flour, spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, egg yokes and egg in a medium bowl. Stir gently just until combined.
- Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the remaining flour on a baking sheet.
- Drop the ricotta mixture by tablespoonfuls onto floured pan to make about 36 dumplings.
- Sprinkle the dumplings with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and very gently shape each into a ball; gently roll on pan to lightly coat with flour.
- Place the marinara sauce in a large skillet over medium heat; cover and keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 9 dumplings to water; cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the dumplings float to the surface of the water. Do not allow the water to boil.
- Remove dumplings from pan with a slotted spoon, and place in marinara; keep warm.
- Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining dumplings.
- Serve on top of your favorite pasta.