Surprisingly, I've never actually made my own dumplings before, but my first attempt was more than encouraging. Typically, I avoid overeating at all costs, but I must admit, I stuffed myself with one more mushroom covered dumpling than I needed. This recipe comes highly recommended from Lisa's Kitchen.
Ricotta Dumplings with Mushroom Sauce
For the Sauce:
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups of mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup of vermouth
For the Dumplings:
1 cup of ricotta cheese
2 eggs, separated
1 generous tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup of unbleached white flour
2/3 cup of bread crumbs
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
4 - 6 tablespoons of butter
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped fresh chives
Begin by making the sauce. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and lemon juice and saute until the mushrooms are brown - about 6 - 8 minutes. Add the dry vermouth to the pan and boil for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
To make the dumplings, beat together the ricotta, egg yolks and Parmesan in a medium-large bowl. Add the flour and beat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture in two additions. Next fold in the breadcrumbs and cornmeal.
Fill a heavy skillet or large wok with enough water to reach a depth of two inches. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons into the water. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the dumplings, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To complete the dish, bring the mushroom sauce to a simmer. Add the butter, stirring until melted. Place the dumplings on a platter or in a large serving bowl, and spoon the mushroom sauce over the dumplings. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and chives.