Ricotta and herb dumplings with vodka and porcini butter sauce

For a sophisticated vegetarian dish try Celia Brooks Brown's light ricotta dumplings served with a flavourful vodka sauce
By Celia Brooks Brown
Ricotta and herb dumplings with vodka and porcini butter sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 - 6
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 15 mins soaking
  • Effort: medium



  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 300 g spinach leaves
  • a large handful of fresh herbs, (basil, parsley, sage), chopped
  • 500 g ricotta cheese, drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g parmesan, grated
  • 2-6 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • finely grated parmesan

For the sauce:

  • 10 g dried porcini
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 100 ml vodka
  • salt, and freshly made pepper


1. First prepare the porcini for the sauce. Cover them in boiling water and soak for 15 minutes, then drain, rinse and chop.

2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil for the dumplings. Reduce to a simmer.

3. Pour boiling water over the spinach, then drain well, pressing out as much moisture as you can. Squeeze in a clean cloth to dry out further.

4. Place the spinach in a food processor with the herbs, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of flour and the semolina. Pulse until well mixed. Alternately, if not using a food processor, finely chop the spinach and herbs and beat with other ingredients in a bowl. The mixture should have the consistency of cottage cheese and just drop off the spoon.

5. The water for the dumplings should be simmering gently. Drop one test spoonful of the mixture into the simmering water. If it falls apart, just add more flour to the mixture and mix in well.

6. Drop in spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture and simmer until they rise to the top, about 2-3 minutes, then drain thoroughly in a colander. Cook in batches and keep warm.

7. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add garlic and chopped porcini and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add in the vodka, salt and freshly ground pepper. Return to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, until the alcohol fumes are gone.

8. Spoon the porcini sauce over the dumplings, and serve with generous amounts of Parmesan.

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