With Valentine’s Day just one week away, we’ve been working up a few ideas for those of you looking to celebrate. We ended up finding two entrees that fit the bill — seasonal and simple, yet with enough kitchen time to make for an activity to spend time with a loved one (or two or three).
We were set with roasted red pepper pesto linguine with kale as our Valentine’s Day meal of choice, when on a whim we decided to try out these ricotta dumplings (or “gnudi”, as they are called in the original recipe). They turned out so delicious we had to share them with you.
These dumplings are similar to gnocchi, but are made with ricotta cheese instead of potatoes. You can spend the time you might have spent cooking potatoes whipping up a kale pesto instead (shown here with kale from the lovely Anita of Homestead Growers). The dumplings come out light and airy, and combined with this flavorful pesto, they’re a novel treat for a special meal.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? We’re usually hit or miss, but this year we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, my birthday and belated Christmas on a family trip to Las Vegas! We can’t wait to try out restaurants from some of our favorite chefs – as well as enjoy the 60-degree weather.
We’ve posted these Valentine’s Day ideas to give you a bit of advanced planning time — and check out the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market this weekend if you’re an Indy local to shop for ingredients! We suggest pairing this meal with Beet, Kale and Kohlrabi Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette, and some chocolate for dessert.
- 2 cups kale leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Grate ½ cup Parmesan cheese and set aside. Wash the kale, remove the stems, and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine 4 cloves garlic, 2 cups kale, and ⅓ cup walnuts. Pulse 5 to 6 times until the ingredients are chopped finely but are not mushy.
- Add ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 pinches kosher salt, 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, and ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the food processor, then turn it on and add ½ cup olive oil in a steady stream.
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup kale pesto
- ¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- In a large bowl, whisk 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Add ricotta cheese, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and mix until well combined. Add ½ cup flour; stir just until combined and mixture forms a ball; add more flour as necessary if the dough is too wet (we added ¾ cup flour total).
- To make the dumplings, using two people is helpful. Dust a rimmed baking sheet generously with flour. Use 2 large soup spoons to shape heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into football shapes, and then place them on the baking sheet. Then roll the dumplings with more flour so that they are fully coated (results in around 30 dumplings).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the dumplings, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and tender, 5-6 minutes. (Note: The dumpling will quickly float to surface, but continue cooking for the entire 5 to 6 minutes until they are fully cooked).
- Drain the dumplings, then return them to the pan. Add ½ cup kale pesto, a few drizzles olive oil, ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a bit of kosher salt. Gently toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.