“I’m melting. I’m melting”
Guess the Wicked Witch of the West was not the only green thing capable of disintegrating at the touch of water. If the storzapretis – Corsican spinach, herb and cheese dumplings reminiscent of gnocchi – I made for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe could talk, the very same words would have escaped them. It was automatic: the quennelles hit the water, they swelled up, and the spinach bits wanted to escape the dumpling.
The dough for storzapretis comes together easily: drained ricotta, spinach cooked and wrung dry, an egg, marjoram or mint, a little bit of flour, grated Pecorino Romano. The dough is shaped into quennelles with spoons (a lot of fun, once you get the hang of it), and then it rests in the refrigerator or freezer until it firms up enough for cooking in simmering water.
In that first pre-cooking on the stovetop, it became clear the method wasn’t going to work out for me. I baked the storzapretis for 35 minutes on 375˚F, barely schmeared with strained tomatoes and more Pecorino Romano. The dumplings retained their shape and were delicious and packed with flavor. I’ll definitely play with these again, using different cheeses and herbs to add to the ricotta and spinach base. Storzapretis (storzapretae?) are the ultimate make ahead recipe.
It was the first time I worked with marjoram. A relative to Mediterranean oregano, this herb is one of the components of herbes de Provence. Its flavor is also milder and sweeter than oregano’s.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where home cooks and bloggers from around the world work their way through Dorie Greenspan’s ‘Around My French Table’. To see more delicious storzapretis plus tips and lessons learned this week, click here.