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Scruffy Pumpkin Dumplings with Cavolo Nero

Course Main Course
Servings 2 hungry people


Scruffy Pumpkin Dumplings

  • 400 g pumpkin puree*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200-300 g plain flour

Cavolo Nero

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 large leaves of cavolo nero (lacinato kale)
  • 2 medium mushroom
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes**
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


Prep the dumpling batter

  • In a medium sized bowl add the first four dumplings ingredients and stir to combine. Add the flour gradually until you have something in between a batter and a dough (I used 275g of flour). Be aware that the amount of flour you need will depend on how watery your pumpkin puree is, so add more if necessary.
  • If you are unsure whether you have added enough flour, you can always drop a dollop into a pot of boiling water and test one dumpling. If it falls apart, or the dumpling is super soft, add more flour.

Cook the cavolo nero

  • Cut the cavolo nero off the tough rib running up the centre of the leaf and then chop up roughly. Place in a sink of cold water and wash thoroughly (no one wants caterpillars in their dinner!). Place in a colander and leave to drain.
  • Put a large frying pan on medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Slice up your onion and add to the pan, cook for a few minutes while you finely chop up the garlic. Once the onion has softened a little add the garlic to the pan and stir. As that cooks, dice up your mushrooms and tomato and add these to the pan as you go.
  • Add the drained cavolo nero, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and give everything a good stir. Drizzle a little water into the pan and cover with a lid to help the cavolo nero wilt down. Cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes. If it starts looking a little dry, you can add a little extra water.

Cook the dumplings

  • While the cavolo nero is cooking, place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • Scoop up about half a tablespoon of batter, and using a second spoon, scrap it off into the boiling water.
  • Repeat this until you have formed several dumplings. Make sure you do not overfill the pot, I did this in a few batches.
  • After about 3-4 minutes, the dumplings should float to the top of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate, and continue cooking rest of the dumplings until you have used all the batter up.

To serve

  • Give the cavolo nero a good stir, it should be soft and a lovely dark green. Add the dumplings to the pan and gently stir them in, adding a little of the cooking water to help combine everything.
  • Serve up, grating a healthy amount of parmesan cheese over the top.


*Pumpkin puree: if you don't already conveniently have a container of it sitting in the fridge like I did, grab yourself a pumpkin, such as a butternut, Hokkaido, pink banana squash (what I used this round), or something along those lines. Preheat your oven to 180°C, cut the bad boy in half, scrape out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking tray. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until you can slide a knife into it like its butter. Remove from oven, let cool, use a spoon to scoop out all the flesh and blend in a food processor. Voila! 
Further to the above, you may not need the whole pumpkin, but there's plenty of stuff you can do with extra pumpkin puree (i.e. pumpkin pie or bread)! 
**I like this with a decent hit of chilli, but adjust according to your taste.
If you want to make this vegan, just omit the parmesan :)
Keyword Pumpkin, Vegetarian