- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 pounds spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 2/3 cups tomato puree (one 15-ounce can)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or parsley
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs, beaten to mix
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 tablespoons flour
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately low heat. Add half the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and add the spinach and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, until no liquid remains in the pan, about 10 minutes. Drain and press all remaining liquid from the spinach.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over moderately low heat. Add the remaining onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Stir in the tomato puree, water, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and basil and cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a simmer. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest, nutmeg, cayenne, and flour. Using two tablespoons, drop walnut-size dumplings into the simmering water. Cook until firm, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with the tomato sauce.
Tomatoes require a high-acid wine, while earthy spinach is best with one that has bright, uncomplicated fruit. Sounds like Barbera, but no oak please.
Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes Published September 2010