Recipes · Side dishes

Ricotta Gnocchi Wrapped in Aubergine

Ricotta Gnocchi Wrapped in Aubergine

The dumplings have a light but luxurious texture, the process is quick and easy but you will need time for the dumpling mixture to set. This dish was adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe. I use it as a fabulous side dish, pictured here with a turkey schnitzel, but it can be used as a starter or a main. You can also vary the vegetable you use to wrap the gnocchi, courgette works well. Get creative!

Equipment required

1 medium/large non stick baking tray
1 fry pan
1 deep base saucepan
1 mixing bowl

Shopping list 4 people as a starter 2 people as a side dish

1 small to medium aubergine
1 knob of salted butter
60g of grated Parmesan
30g of pine nuts
250g ricotta cheese
2 large egg yolks
35g of plain flour
1 tbsp of fresh chopped basil
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp of salt
Grind of black pepper
Olive oil

SAGE BUTTER (optional)

90g unsalted butter
20 sage leaves
pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

Method to the madness

Place the pine nuts in the fry pan and dry roast over a medium heat, moving occasionally until they colour

Transfer to a mixing bowl, add ricotta, egg yolks, flour, nutmeg, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4hrs or overnight

Trim the top and bottom of the aubergine and cut it lengthways, into approx 5mm thick slices. Brush the slices with olive oil and fry or bake the slices (180 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes) until golden. Once cooked let the slices cool enough to be able to handle

Bring salted water to the boil, remove mixture from the fridge and shape, with wet hands, into quenelles (barrel shapes). I shaped mine into 6 dumplings, you can do smaller dumplings if you like, depending on how many aubergine slices you have made

Add the dumplings one at a time to the water, do not over crowd the pan, they will stick together. I cooked 3 at once in a large saucepan. After 2 minutes they should float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper. The dumplings are delicate so handle them gently

Once the dumplings are cool enough to touch wrap them in the aubergine, the slice should go around the middle like a belt. Place the dumplings on the oven tray

Melt the knob of salted butter in the fry pan and pour over the dumplings once on the tray. They can now sit covered like this in the fridge for a day

When ready to serve, pre heat the over to 180 degrees celsius, sprinkle with parmesan and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden and warmed through

The dumplings can either be served like this, or if you want an extra gloss you can serve them with a SAGE BUTTER

Place the unsalted butter in a saucepan on a medium heat and melt, once the butter has coloured slightly add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few seconds

Once the dumplings are on the plates pour the butter on top with a few of the sage leaves. ENJOY!


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