Ricotta Dumplings with Seared Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus, and Peas

Ricotta Dumplings with Seared Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus, and Peas

I was scrolling through Facebook this morning when I came across this video from Bon Appétit on ricotta dumplings. Until about 10 hours ago, I'd never in my life heard of a ricotta dumpling but as soon as I watched the video, I knew what my Sunday project would be. I was a little wary because Jason and I generally don't like really rich, cheesy dishes, so I opted to add more vegetables and to serve my dumplings with a juicy seared pork tenderloin to create a balance between the fatty, decadent dumplings and the bright crisp-tender vegetables. If you do reference Bon Appétit's recipe, I would recommend reducing the amount of salt you put into the dumplings; we found that while we loved the dumplings, we each would have preferred a little less salt. The recipe below reduces the salt by almost a full teaspoon.

I highly recommend getting everything prepped before starting this meal. You'll be jumping between pots when you start cooking, so having everything lined up and ready to go will be a huge time saver!

Serves: 4

Cost: Approximately $7.25 per serving* (This price doesn't include dried herbs, oil, and other common pantry items.)

GRADE

Cost: $$
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time to Make: 1 hour 30 minutes 

INGREDIENTS

DUMPLINGS

2 cups whole-milk ricotta (basket ricotta if you can find it!)

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish

1 large egg at room temperature

1 egg yolk at room temperature

1.5 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more

PORK AND VEGETABLES

1 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil

1 bunch of asparagus

8 ounces sugar snap peas

1 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)

2 cups chicken stock

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons chives, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Prep Ingredients: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Trim the asparagus and cut the spears into thirds. Trim the sugar snap peas and pull off the tough string that runs along the inside of the pod. Mince the chives. Grate off 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and juice the lemon into a small bowl. Discard the seeds. Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to cook.

Start the Dumplings: Combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, egg yolk and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the flour to the food processor and pulse four or five more times until the flour is well incorporated into the batter. Transfer the batter to a medium bowl.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle the parchment paper generously with sifted flour.

Using a flatware tablespoon, scoop up a spoonful of the batter and then scrape the spoon across the top of the bowl to flatten the top of the batter. Using your index finger, push the batter off in one motion, letting the batter drop onto the floured parchment paper. The ends of the dumplings should curl upward a bit. Continue until you've used all the batter – you should end up with between 60 and 65 dumplings. Sprinkle the tops of the dumplings with a bit of sifted flour.

Cook the Vegetables and Start the Pork: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the shelled peas, asparagus, and sugar snap peas. Cook for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Transfer the vegetables to an ice bath and drain the cooking water. Drain the vegetables into a colander and refill the cooking pot with salted water and return to the stove over medium high heat.

While the vegetables are boiling, heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the pork tenderloin and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the entire tenderloin is well-seared. Transfer the entire skillet to the stove and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the pork reaches 135ºF at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloin to a serving dish and rest for 10 minutes. After the pork has rested, thinly slice and return to the serving dish with its juices and cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Carefully return the skillet, with the fond from the pork, to the stove and turn to medium high. Add the chicken stock, scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan and bring the stock to a low boil. 

Prepare the Dumplings: Revisit your pot of water and make sure it's at a steady simmer, almost a low boil. Add the dumplings, one at a time and boil for 5 minutes or until all the dumplings are about double in size, floating on the surface of the water, and are tender and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the dumplings to the skillet with the broth over medium heat.

Finish the Sauce: Add the butter, chives, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pan of dumplings. Add the blanched vegetables and cook for a few more minutes to warm them up, being careful not to overcook them. Taste and season lightly with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Spoon a few dumplings with vegetables into bowls and ladle a few spoonfuls of broth into the bowl. Arrange three or four slices of pork on top of the dish. Garnish with the reserved chives and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!