I have two recipes I want to share with you today! The first is for these comforting Queso Fresco Dumplings with a Spicy Red Pepper Sauce. A variation on the gnudi of Italy, they are made with Cacique's Ranchero Queso Fresco and Manchego Cheese and are incredibly easy and fun to make! If you are a fan of ravioli, you are going to love these dumplings since this dish is basically a ravioli filling without the pasta casing!!! Although traditionally made with ricotta, I prefer using Cacique's Queso Fresco and Manchego cheeses - the slightly drier texture of Queso Fresco makes the dumplings very light and fluffy without any gumminess, and the manchego gives these dumplings a lovely, almost nutty flavor.
The sauce is just a simple combination of roasted red bell peppers, tomatoes and onions with just a little kick - but if time is tight, a store bought marinara would work - and a pesto sauce would be amazing as well. The possibilities are almost endless!
The second is a recipe from Cacique... a recipe for success. I was so impressed with the story behind Cacique that I just had to share it with you. Cacique began when the Cardenas family, newly arrived immigrants, saw an opportunity to provide fresh, mexican style cheeses. Taking a leap of faith, the Cardenas family began making cheese the old fashioned way. Their recipe was simple - equal parts family, quality, integrity and authenticity. By mixing their recipe with incredible amounts of hard work the Cardenas family has built their company, Cacique, Inc. into the country's largest manufacturer of fresh mexican style cheeses, cremas, yogurts and chorizo products. While their product line has expanded far beyond their original queso fresco, the "recipe" remains the same.
This post was sponsored by Cacique, Inc. As always, the opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.
Queso Fresco Dumplings with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 package Cacique Queso Fresco
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup grated Cacique Manchego Cheese
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion cut into ½ inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
- one 12 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers drained and diced
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup grated manchego
- For the gnudi: In the bowl of a mixer, combine the queso fresco, egg and egg yolk. Mix to combine. Sprinkle with the flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Mix to combine. Mix in the grated manchego. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and roll into an oval. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining dough - you should have about 24 - 26 gnudi.
- For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the italian seasoning, paprika and cayenne. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste. Add the drained tomatoes and the roasted red bell peppers.Stir to combine. Taste. Add the sugar if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, while the gnudi is cooking.
- To cook the gnudi: Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a simmer, don't let the water boil!. Gently add 5 - 7 gnudi to the simmering water being careful not to crowd the pan.They will sink, but don't worry! Let cook for 5 - 8 minutes. The gnudi are done when they float and bob to the top. Using a slotted spoon remove the gnudi to a warmed serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining gnudi. Top with the sauce and grated manchego and serve or divide the gnudi between 4 serving bowls and top with the sauce and dust with grated manchego cheese.