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Ricotta Dumplings with Kale Pesto

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


These cheesy Italian ricotta dumplings are tender and chewy, and covered in emerald green pesto they’re everything that a cozy dinner should be.



For the kale pesto (or substitute basil pesto)

  • 2 cups kale leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the ricotta dumplings

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

To serve

  • 1/2 cup kale pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt


  1. Make the kale pesto: Wash and roughly chop the kale. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, kale, and walnuts. Pulse 5 to 6 times until the ingredients are chopped finely but are not mushy. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar to the food processor, then turn it on and add the olive oil in a steady stream. Makes 1 cup: use 1/2 cup for the recipe and reserve the remainder.
  2. For the ricotta dumpling: In a large bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolk. Add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and kosher salt and mix until well combined. Add the flour; stir just until combined and mixture forms a ball; add more flour as necessary if the dough is too wet (we added 3/4 cup flour total).
  3. 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).
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the dumplings, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and tender, 5 to 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).
  5. Drain the dumplings, then return them to the pan. Add the kale pesto, a few drizzles olive oil, fresh grated nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and a bit of kosher salt. Gently toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.


Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Ricotta dumplings, ricotta gnocchi