Herbed Ricotta Dumplings with Lemon Brown Butter

Also known as gnudi, these ricotta dumplings are “little pillows of love,” as a good friend lately proclaimed. Rich in flavor, yet brightened by a hint of lemon and fresh herbs, they make for a gorgeous first or main course (and best of all, they’re thrown together in under 30 minutes). Pair with a light style red or citrusy white.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • 2 large cage-free eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta (scant 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced to a paste
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs, such as thyme, chives, tarragon and mint
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons organic olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and dust it lightly with flour. Put a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat to come to a boil.
  2. Beat the eggs with the salt and nutmeg. Mix in the ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic and herbs. Gently stir in the flour to form a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch rod, then cut each rod with a sharp knife or pastry cutter into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Line another sheet pan with parchment paper. Cook half of the dumplings in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumpling to the parchment-lined sheet pan and toss with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Repeat with the rest of the dumplings.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until nutty brown and fragrant. Stir in the lemon juice (the butter will bubble and sizzle). Slide the dumplings into the pan and cooked until just coated and warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shower the dumplings with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve immediately.


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