I’m a real mutt, my ethnic roots stretch from China to Italy to Portugal to Germany. But I grew up with great Italian cooking and one of my favorite comfort foods is a good tomato sauce, preferably with eggplant parmigiana. My instincts are to make every dish with an Italian flair and plenty of garlic but occasionally I can restrain myself. My husband and I made these dumplings one night to serve to our dinner guest. They really are easy and fun to make but definitely time consuming. We folded and sealed for a good hour to make 73 dumplings.
My problem was that the pea and ricotta filling made me feel like I was making ravioli or tortellini rather than dumplings. I kept trying to convince my husband how a lemon cream sauce would go perfectly with these and he kept telling me to embrace my Asian roots. I’m glad I listened (it’s not often). We tried three different ways of cooking them – boiling, steaming, and frying. Boiling was definitely the worst. They quickly got waterlogged and soggy. Steaming was definitely the best and frying was a good alternative to get them crispy and dark. We served them with an easy dipping sauce – soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes.
For instructions on how to fold your dumplings, you can look on the wonton wrapper package. My package didn’t have any instructions so I found this great YouTube clip with a quick folding demonstration. Or you can invent your own way of folding!
Pea & Ricotta Dumplngs
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 2 cups (about 10 ounces) cups peas (freshly shelled or frozen)
- 2/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- zest of one large lemon
- 1 package of wonton wrappers, or round wrappers
special equipment: bamboo steamer is ideal, I used a metal steamer sprayed with vegetable oil
1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water (as you would pasta water) and add the peas. Cook until bright green in color and puffy, about a minute if the peas were frozen, less if you started with fresh ones. Drain the peas and run under cold water for one minute to stop the cooking.
2. With a food processor (or hand blender) blend the peas, ricotta cheese, olive oil, and salt into a puree. I like a bit of texture, so I don’t go too far. Return the mixture to a big bowl and stir in the shallots, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Taste. Add more salt if needed.
2. Fill the dumplings using an assembly line technique – a dozen at a time. You can follow the instructions on the wonton wrapper, if there are any, or check out these YouTube clip on how to easily fold and seal. Place twelve wrappers out on the counter, drop a very scant teaspoon of filling onto each wrapper (avoid the desire to overfill), rub the perimeter of each wrapper with a wet finger seal, fold in half, and then fold in the two sides and seal. Set aside on a plate. Do the next dozen and repeat until all the filling is used up.
3. Set up your steamer, rub each dumpling with a bit of olive oil or spray your steamer with PAM, arrange the dumplings in a single layer (being careful not to overlap), and steam for about three minutes – until the dumplings are tender and translucent. Sprinkle with a touch of salt or serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.