This is one of my favourite recipes from home. These little dumplings with tomato and basil sauce are traditionally made in my home village of Minori on the feast day of the town's patron saint. When I return to Minori, it pleases me to see this now on the menus of the best restaurants, so that not only locals but also tourists can enjoy this simple, but truly delicious dish.
For the dumplings
- 200 g Italian 'plain 00' flour, plus extra for flouring
- 220 g ricotta
- 3 egg yolks
- 20-30 g parmesan, freshly grated
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
- 700 g tinned plum tomatoes, chopped in half
- a few basil leaves
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, cut into thick slices
- 1 sliced chilli
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, ricotta, egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper together to form a soft, moist dough.
Place on a floured work surface and knead for 3â€“5 minutes.
With your hands, roll the dough into a long, thin sausage shape and then cut it at right angles into rectangular shapes about 2 cm long.
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the dumplings. Wait until they rise to the surface again, then lower the heat and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the tomatoes and basil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic and chilli. When the garlic begins to change colour, remove the pan from the heat and add the tomato mixture.
Replace on the heat and cook gently for 4 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling.
Drain the dumplings with a slotted spoon and add to the tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately.
Photograhy by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Napkins and salt dish from Vincino; forks from The Bay Tree; bottle from Koskela; plate and bowls from Maison et Jardin.