“When Nonna Mercedes taught me this recipe, my first thought was what a brilliant way to cook. Using simple ingredients, it really represents the survival cooking typical of the Walser community. It’s delicate, delicious, cheap and quick to put together, and has already become a firm favourite of mine. It reminds me of Alpine gnocchi and you can treat it like pasta. Essentially it’s batter that drips into boiling water to cook into tender teardrop dumplings ready to be tossed with something wonderful. ”
Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the Tipo 00 flour, followed by the semolina flour, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and a good few crude scrapings of nutmeg to form a fairly thick but still totally pliable and gloopy batter. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Half-fill a large pan with salted water and bring up to a fast rolling boil. In the mountains they have a special gadget to pass the batter through, but to make this accessible I use a regular metal colander with ½cm holes, which you need to hold under cold running water before use (this helps prevent the batter from sticking to it. I also recommend loosening the batter with extra milk, if needed, just before you cook it, so it is just loose and gloopy enough to almost reluctantly cry through the holes into the water, where it immediately sets into firm, beautifully peculiar dumplings).
Working quickly, pour half the batter into the colander and use a clean hand or a large metal whisk to swirl and push it around, encouraging it to fall through the holes of the colander, straight into the water. The teardrop dumplings will cook in just 2 or 3 minutes, so once done, sieve out into your chosen sauce, and cook the second batch. I serve mine with Nonna Mercedes' fonduta, or Roasted red onion & bacon