“Lazy” dumplings (or “le-nee-vye va-re-nee-kee” in Russian) are gnocchi-shaped dumplings made by mixing ricotta cheese or farmer cheese with egg and white/wheat flour into quick dough. It is an easier version for people who don’t have time to make stuffed dumplings. These are great for breakfast and my mom used to make them for me many times. They can be served in many ways, for example – with sweet sauce, berries and cream. If you like to have a savory version, add shredded cheese, fresh green peas and serve them with melted butter or even tomato sauce. I used whole wheat flour for my recipe, but you are welcome to use all-purpose flour, that way your dumplings will come out whiter and lighter.
For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.
Note: You need to drain ricotta cheese before start cooking the dumplings, that way you’ll use less flour. There is an effective method to drain ricotta: take a fine meshed strainer and line it with cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a bowl and cover the whole set-up with plastic wrap. Place a plate over the ricotta and then place a weight, like a can of food, on the plate. Put the whole thing in your refrigerator and let it sit for few hours or overnight. Discard the liquid.
If you need to cook the dumplings the same day, just place the ricotta in the center of the cheesecloth and collect the ends of the cloth to form a bundle. Squeeze as much water out of the ricotta as you can.
- 2 cups ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour plus more for coating
- 2 Tbsp. semolina flour
- pinch of salt plus salt for water
- sour cream or whipped cream
- strawberry syrup or your favorite jam, sour cherry sauce would be great also
- melted butter
- fresh mint leaves
In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, flours (whole wheat & semolina), egg, vanilla sugar, lemon zest, salt using spoon, or fork. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be soft, but not tough. Divide the dough into two.
On a well floured surface, form two cylinders/rolls and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
In the medium saucepan bring the salty water to boil. Carefully throw the vareniki one by one in water. Cook for 3-4 minutes after they float on top.
Drain the water and transfer the vareniki to the serving plates. Serve with sour cream, jam or berry sauce.