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Mamma Contaldo’s Ricotta Dumplings

Ndundari con Salsa di Pomodoro e Basilico
This is one of my favourite recipes from home. These little dumplings, made from a few staple Italian larder ingredients, are traditionally made in my home village of Minori on the feast day of the town’s patron saint. When I return to Minori, it pleases me to see this now on the menus of the best restaurants, so that not only locals but also tourists can enjoy this simple, but truly delicious dish.


  • For the Dumplings

  • 200g Italian ‘Plain’ flour, plus extra for flouring

  • 220g ricotta

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 20-30g Parmesan, freshly grated

  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Sauce

  • 700g tinned plum tomatoes, chopped in half

  • a few basil leaves

  • 6 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, cut into thick slices

  • 1 sliced chilli


  • 1.

    In a large bowl, mix the flour, ricotta, egg yolks, Parmesan, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper together to form a soft, moist dough.

  • 2.

    Place on a floured work surface and knead for 3–5 minutes.

  • 3.

    With your hands, roll the dough into a long, thin sausage shape and then cut it at right angles into rectangular shapes about 2cm long.

  • 4.

    Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the dumplings. Wait until they rise to the surface again, then lower the heat and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the tomatoes and basil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

  • 6.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic and chilli. When the garlic begins to change colour, remove the pan from the heat and add the tomato mixture.

  • 7.

    Replace on the heat and cook gently for 4 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling.

  • 8.

    Drain the dumplings with a slotted spoon and add to the tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately.


Serves 4

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