Potato dumplings are one of the best-known Italian dishes in the world. They are suitable for any kind of seasoning and tradition wants it to be one of the classic first dishes of Sundays and parties. The Roman tradition wants them on thursdays, but for this specialty every day are good. But why do you say Thursday dumplings? Tradition has it that Friday was formerly dedicated to penance and eating fish and little else, so the day before, Thursday, precisely, we were preparing to observe this tradition, eating a hearty dish and hence the old saying. The dumpling is called because it consists of small portions of homogeneous dough similar to the knots of wood, probably derived from the longobard term Hnohhil which means precisely knot in the wood.
Ingredients Recipe dumplings for 4 people
- 1 o’or so potato
- 300 grams of white flour type 0
- 1 egg
- 1 salt just enough
The choice of potatoes for dumplings is important. The most recommended is the white potato because it is richer in starch and maybe a little old because it has less water. And it is important that potatoes are as dry as possible as this decreases the amount of flour we have to use, making our dumplings softer. Yes, because the secret to making our perfect dumplings is the right balance between potatoes and flour. So too much flour tends to make our dumplings harder, less flour instead tends to make them flake during cooking.
At this point you put the potatoes to cook in the water with the peel and let them boil for about 25/30 minutes since the water started to boil.
Allow to cool for half an hour and then peel and pass in a potato potato. This mixture should be placed on a table and then worked by hand, adding a pinch of salt, egg and flour slowly until you get a soft, smooth and compact mixture. Do not work the dough much because it will not have to be very elastic.
They are now formed with pieces of dough of the cylinders the diameter of a finger that are then cut into many pieces of cm 1.5/2. These are our dumplings that you can cook like this or take them one by one and make them the traditional strips with a row dumplings or a fork.
They should be cooked in plenty of boiling salted water by turning them with a wooden spoon until they all rise afloat. At this point our dumplings are ready for the seasoning that you will have chosen and eaten.
My favorite condiment for dumplings is meat sauce, which I’m not going to rewrite here referring to my article on lasagna where you will find the recipe both of the sauce I prepare, and the original bolognese sauce, which is the classic meat sauce. Instead in this article I would like to propose many other ways of eating dumplings from a somewhat particular recipe that I really enjoyed many years ago in a small restaurant on the sea.
Shrimp and coconut dumplings
For this preparation the dumplings are prepared in the usual way with the usual ingredients, only that when you get to cut them you make smaller, about half of the normal dumplings. On the market there are also round and small dumplings that also perform their task very well, although I will never tire of repeating it, what we do at home has a different flavor.
Ingredients for 4 people
- Kg 1,500 dumplings
- 400 grams of shelled shrimp
- grams 50 butter
- 100 grams of whole milk
- 30/40 grams of dehydrated coconut (found in supermarkets in sweet additions)
- 1 pack of cooking cream
- a couple of tablespoons of ketchup
- salt, pepper just enough
put the coconut in the milk to rehydrate it for five minutes, in a saucepan put the butter making it melt and combine the milk with the coconut, cooking it for about 5 minutes, then the shrimp. Salt, pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Put the cooking cream and ketchup and mix well, the sauce should come pink and enough liquid. Once cooked the dumplings sauté them in the pan with the sauce and serve them on the table.
Roman potato dumplings
Another recipe that I really like are the Roman dumplings, which can be considered the classic dumplings known all over the world.
for the usual dumplings I’ve already mentioned above.
for the sauce:
- 400 grams of ground beef pulp
- 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 celery rib finely chopped for the sauce
- 300 grams peeled tomatoes into pieces
- a few basil leaves and a dollop of parsley
- olive oil, salt and pepper just enough
- half a glass of red wine.
- Parmesan cheese, grated enough.
Fry carrot onion and celery finely chopped in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add the basil leaves and chopped parsley. When the ingredients are golden brown, add the chopped veal and let it cook often for about ten minutes. At this point salt and pepper and blend with red wine until absorbed. Add the peeled tomatoes, cover and cook the sauce for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Close to cooking, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the dumplings that you will have prepared before until they have come to the surface. Season with the sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese
These dumplings are the ultra plus of Mediterranean cuisine of which they have all the features. Tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese make this dish a real treat. Below I propose the recipe. For the dumplings always the usual, with usual procedure and usual ingredients.
For the sauce it takes;
- 1 garlic clove
- 5 or 6 basil leaves,
- 700 grams of tomato purée, better if rustic
- olive oil
- 250 grams of mozzarella
- 50 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
Method: Put 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and the garlic, peeled and crushed, which you will remove freshly golden. Add the tomato purée, fresh basil leaves and cook for about 30 minutes. At this point our sauce is ready and then cook the dumplings that you have prepared before, season them with 3 quarters of gravy turning them well. In a baking dish or baking dish pour on the bottom the remaining quarter of the sauce and put on top of a part of the dumplings already topped, on top put a layer of diced mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan. Put the remaining dumplings, another layer of mozzarella and parmesan. Put the pan in the oven already hot at 250 degrees in grill mode and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve on the table very hot.
Other types of dumplings
There are other types of dumplings that are made with other ingredients, but they are the same very good. For example, ricotta dumplings.
In place of potatoes is used ricotta vaccinate, the result are delicate and tasty dumplings and to fully appreciate their taste, seasoned with a very simple tomato sauce.
Ingredients of ricotta dumplings.
- 500 grams of fresh ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 300 grams of flour
- a pinch of salt
In a bowl, crush the ricotta with the egg the parmesan and a pinch of salt until combined, continue putting the flour a little at a time and working the dough with your hands obtain a firm but fluffy consistency. With a rolling pin roll out the dough that must remain about 2 centimeters high, cut the dough into strips and cut the diced strips again, here are ready our ricotta dumplings. Our dumplings will cook in a pot of boiling water and after two to three minutes when they come back afloat they will be cooked. To season them you can choose between different solutions. A tomato and basil sauce, they are also delicious with Genoa pesto and also with fish sauces.
One of my favorites is the sauce with sausage and peas.
Ingredients for 4 people
- 2 private leather sausages, chopped
- 150 grams of green
- 150 grams of cream
In a pan cook the sausage crumbled with a little olive oil, when it is browned add the pisellini, salted peppers and after 5 minutes of cooking add the cream that should only be mixed with the sauce. A tasty sauce is ready to season our ricotta dumplings.
Chestnut flour dumplings.
Especially a dish with an autumn flavor this with chestnut flour dumplings, but just as good and very simple to prepare.
- 400 grams of chestnut flour
- 275 grams flour type 00 (in some recipes water is replaced in part by milk)
- 300 grams of water
knead the two flours that you had already mixed and sifted with water, form a ball that will be put in the fridge for at least an hour. This will make it easier to work the puff pastry that you will then cut into laths and then rectangles. Our dumplings are ready to be cooked in plenty of salted water. For the dressing, many simply use butter and sage, just to enhance the flavor of chestnut flour, but they are also yummy with tastier sauces such as bacon and mushrooms.
A bit of the history of dumplings
Let’s talk about our classic potato dumplings, but they won’t come to our tables until after Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. Yes, because potatoes were imported from America. There were already types of dumplings but they were made with bread crumbs, milk and almonds. More in ancient times it is thought that gnocchi were the first type of pasta used by man, composed of a dough of flour and water, also using different types of flour, type of corn, spelt, wheat etc. were cooked in water or simply fried, as it still uses today in some Italian regions. It is also said that it was the famous Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the stack, who first brought potatoes to Italy, which he had met at the court of Louis XVI. It is said that it was precisely a mistake in the preparation of a mash that made him make the first potato dumplings.
The dumplings in the world
All over the world you can find foods that look like our dumplings. Both savoury and sweet. For example in Asian countries, these are prepared with rice flour and steamed. In India they are prepared with rice, lentil flour and after being wrapped in steamed leaves, but are considered type of accompaniments for more elaborate dishes than dishes for themselves. While it is in our European continent and also in the American one that they find their function as first dishes, although in some countries there are typical preparations served as a side dish and also as soups. Truly curious are the many types of sweet dumplings, mostly for the preparations that accompany them.
Let me give you a few examples: in Nepal they are made with rice flour, stuffed with molasses and sesame and steamed, and also with flour and milk, fried and then heated in syrup. In India still with cheese and semolina always warmed in syrup. On the American continent, on the other hand, preparations such as soups and soups prevail. For example, in Canada and the southern United States, flour dumplings are made and then cooked in chicken soups. Or egg dumplings, native to Pennsylvania, but probably have Dutch origins that are cooked in corn or potato or chicken soups. A type of Jewish dumplings are made of unsthemacious bread and chicken fat, they are then cooked in chicken broth. And still Chilean dumplings of corn flour that accompany many soups of vegetables or meat.