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Browned Butter Mizithra Dunderi with Red Sauce

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Browned Butter Mizithra Dunderi with Red Sauce; fluffy clouds of creamy ricotta & salty mizithra cheese, fried in browned butter & served over red sauce.




  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (very thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
  • San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes - 1 can
  • fresh basil sprigs - 2
  • kosher salt - to taste
  • sugar - pinch


  • whole milk ricotta cheese - 2 cups
  • egg yolks -2
  • finely grated Mizithra cheese - 1 cup (plus more for topping)
  • freshly grated nutmeg - 1/8 teaspoon
  • kosher salt - 1 teaspoon
  • all-purpose flour -1 cup (plus 2 tablespoons (plus more for dusting))
  • Semolina flour (1-2 tablespoons, for dusting)
  • unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
  • fresh sage - a few leaves



  1. In a large mixing bowl, crush the whole tomatoes in your hands to break them down.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced garlic, cook until just lightly golden. About 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, juices and about 1/4 cup of water swirled around in the can. Add fresh basil sprigs, salt, sugar, and chile flakes (if desired).
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, simmering about 30 to 40 minutes. If the tomatoes are still too chunky, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or an immersion blender to break down. Discard the basil sprigs and remove from heat.


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper then dust with semolina flour, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta and egg yolks together until smooth. Stir in the mizithra, nutmeg, salt and flour until the dough just starts to come together.
  3. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle with more flour to keep dough from sticking. Gather the dough together to form an even log shape.
  4. Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, divide the dough into 6 equal portions (about the width of 2 fingers).
  5. Moving from the center out, gently roll each piece into a log about a ½" in diameter. Chop the log into 1" long pieces. Place the dunderi on the prepared baking sheet (with space between so they don't stick together) and repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the dunderi and simmer. They are ready once they begin to float to the surface, around 2 minutes. Use a small strainer or slotted spoon to remove duderi from water and place on a baking sheet to dry.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until the butter becomes deep golden brown and brown bits just start to form. Add the sage leaves.
  8. Add the dunderi dumplings to the browned butter and cook for about 2 minutes until the edges start to brown and sizzle. Flip and brown the other side.
  9. Ladle red sauce sauce into a pasta bowl or plate and top with dunderi dumplings. Sprinkle with freshly grated mizithra cheese. Serve immediately with a glass of Sangiovese or Aglianico!


Make ahead: the dunderi will last covered and chilled in the fridge for up to 2 days. Or freeze on the baking sheet, then transfer to a resealable plastic baggie and use within 1 month.
The sauce can also be frozen in a plastic baggie and reheated as desired.

Adapted from Dunderi adapted from Pasta By Hand By Jenn Louis.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes