Ndundari – ricotta dumplings in tomato and basil sauce!

I am always fascinated by traditional recipes. None more than this one from Minori, Italy. A town in the province of Salerno, on the Amalfi Coast. On Sundays I often dig through my recipe books to find something that inspires me and has a story behind it.

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These dumplings are served on the feast day of the town’s patron saint, Trofimena, a female saint. There are three feast days honouring Trofimena – 5 November, 27 November and in summer 13 July.

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A Ndundari is like a big gnocchi. Instead of using potatos they mix flour, egg yolks, ricotta and grated Parmesan, to form a soft pillow shaped dumpling.

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It is said these dumplings can be found on the menu of the best restaurants during their feast days. This is great, as you don’t have to knock on someone’s door to get some. However I am always tempted to do that when I travel.


Recipe (serves 4)

  • 200g all purpose flour
  • 220g ricotta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 20g parmeson, freshly grated
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg


  • 700g of tinned tomatoes
  • a handful of basil leaves
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut into slices


In a large bowl, mix the flour, ricotta, egg yolks, parmesan, nutmeg and salt and pepper to form a soft, moist dough. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. With your hands, roll the dough into a long sausage shape, then cut into pillow shapes, about 2 cm long. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and gently toss the dumplings. Wait until they rise to the surface, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

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