This Mother’s Day I was humbly reminded of how grateful I am to be a parent along-side Josh. I really couldn’t imagine taking the journey of motherhood on without him as Everett’s Daddy. On the actual day of Mother’s Day I was sick and Josh cared for me and Everett with gladness. Luckily, we had been celebrating Mother’s Day all weekend so I didn’t totally miss out on the festivities.
We made this Vegetable and Ricotta Dumpling recipe together earlier in the weekend and it turned out just right. We made a similar recipe once before and totally screwed it up but this time, with the two of us in the kitchen, (actually 3- as Everett was strapped on me in the ergo) we made it happen. It’s not a hard recipe but I think it’s much easier with two people. I focused on the vegetable soup base and veggies while Josh made the ricotta dumplings.
Our partnership in parenting is much like this in the kitchen. I can’t fathom being a single parent and am so incredibly in awe of those who are. Josh and I are better together than we are separate – our food tastes better and our parenting is better. Though we don’t always agree in the kitchen or in parenting, we do help and support each other.
This time last year I cried my way through Mother’s Day. I was past my due date and ready to be a mom. This year, I can’t imagine life without our curious little guy. The love I have for him has helped me to better understand to the unconditional love that God has for me. Everett makes being a mom and complete joy and blessing. And cooking with him strapped onto me or playing with tupperware at my feet, just reminds me of how lucky I am!
A few tips on this recipe: This recipe is incredibly versatile as you can use whatever vegetables are fresh, and whatever herbs for seasoning the ricotta. The apple core, parmesan rind, and parsley bouquet are all to boost the flavor of the broth. If you don’t happen to have them around, the recipe can be made with out them but remember to save your apple core (freeze them) and parmesan rinds for future use! Also, this time around we only browned half of the dumplings, freezing the other half to make fresh another day. To best freeze the ricotta dumplings let them dry out a bit on a baking sheet after boiling them, then freeze on the baking sheet, spread out so they are not touching. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Bring the dumplings back up to room temp before browning them.
A light Spring or Summer meal with fresh vegetables and herbed ricotta dumplings.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small shallots, chopped
- 4 cups seasonal vegetables (I used carrots, peas, radishes)
- 2 cups hearty leafy greens (I used rainbow swiss chard but kale works nicely too)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 apple core* (optional)
- 1 parmesan rind* (optional)
- a few stems of fresh parsley* (or whatever herbs you have)
- 16 ounces (2 cups) ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Parmesan grated)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme, basil and parsley)
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
First, line a baking dish with 3 layers of paper towels; spoon ricotta onto paper towels and let sit 20 minutes (if the ricotta is too wet, the dough won’t hold together). Then you can start on the veggies and broth.
In a heavy bottom dutch oven or large stock pot, saute the shallots in the olive oil. After a few minutes add in the vegetables (add in the heartier ones first like carrots then after a couple minutes add in the lighter veggies like peas). Saute veggies until they start to brown and stick to the pan (5-10 minutes).
Add in broth, apple core, parmesan rind, and parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook 15- 20 minutes until the dumplings are ready. When ready to serve, remove apple core, parmesan rind, and parsley.
While the veggies cook, combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, and salt in a food processor; season with pepper and process until smooth. Add herbs and flour and pulse just to combine (mixture should be smooth and fairly wet). Transfer gnocchi mixture to a pastry bag fitted with ½” round tip or a large resealable plastic bag.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Reduce heat so water is simmering. If using a resealable plastic bag for gnocchi mixture, cut a ½” opening in bottom of bag. Working in 3 batches, pipe dough into pot, cutting off 1” lengths with a paring knife and letting dough drop into water. Cook until doubled in size, about 3 minutes (dumplings will float to the top when they are done). Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet and add in the ricotta dumplings, browning them in batches. Cook, tossing or flipping gently, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
You can serve this in a large baking dish or straight into shallow, individual bowls. Portion out dumplings between bowls then ladle the soup mixture over the dumplings.
*** The apple core, parmesan rind and parsley are all great additions to boost up any broth giving it a new more interesting flavor. DO AHEAD: Ricotta mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pastry tip and chill. FREEZE: Ricotta Dumplings can be made, boiled but not
More fresh Spring Recipes:
Happy Yolks Spring on a Plate
Naturally Ella Polenta with Peas, Fennel and Almonds
Cookie and Kate Rhubarb Chia Jam
Completely Delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Simple Bites Raspberry Rhubarb Collins Party Punch