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Kid in the Kitchen: Ricotta-Spinach Dumplings

Kids will love making (and eating) these cheesy, pillowy dinnertime treats.

Ricotta-Spinach Dumplings Hands-on: 50 min. Total: 50 min.

Choose a low-moisture ricotta. If you can't shape a loose ball with the cheese, place it in a strainer, and drain the excess liquid for about an hour.

Ingredients 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed 1.5 ounces (about 1/3 cup) plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided 1½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese (such as Calabro or Polly-O) ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2.25 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded 2 large egg yolks 1 large egg 1½ cups lower-sodium marinara sauce

Preparation:

1. Cook spinach in microwave according to package directions; cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze until very dry.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon 1.5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, spinach, ricotta, and next 6 ingredients (through 1 egg) in a medium bowl. Stir gently just until combined.

3. Sprinkle ¼ cup flour on a baking sheet. Drop ricotta mixture by tablespoonfuls onto floured pan to make about 36 dumplings. Sprinkle dumplings with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and very gently shape each into a ball; gently roll on pan to lightly coat with flour. (Dumplings can be shaped ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

4. Place marinara in a large skillet over medium heat; cover and keep warm.

5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 9 dumplings to water; cook 5 to 6 minutes (do not boil). Remove dumplings from pan with a slotted spoon, and place in marinara; keep warm. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining dumplings.

SERVES 6 (serving size: 6 dumplings and about ¼ cup sauce) CALORIES 234; FAT 11g (sat 5.8g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 16g; CARB 18g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 119mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 438mg; CALC 387mg

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