Tomato Stew With Basil Dumplings 6.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Jan 16, 2018

The next time you’re contemplating pasta but can’t get excited about it, give this old-timey recipe a go. It’s substantial enough to serve as a meatless entree, but also makes an unexpected side to serve with steaks or a Sunday roast. The stew is a wonderful use of canned tomatoes, a stalwart pantry staple.

The key to tasty tomatoes is to use them in their best form at the time, and this time of year, that’s going to be canned.

To read the accompanying story, see: Southern dumplings are the fluffy clouds of comfort food.


Servings:
6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • For the stew
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • Three 14-ounce cans chunky tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • For the dumplings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small bits and chilled
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves, plus torn or ribboned basil, for garnish
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Directions

For the stew: Melt the butter in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir the onion, bell pepper, salt, dried basil and black pepper; cook, 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tomato puree, brown sugar and vinegar. Reduce the heat to medium; let the stew cook while you make the dumplings.

For the dumplings: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.

Whisk together the egg and milk in a liquid measuring cup. Pour over the flour mixture and stir just long enough to form a soft, sticky dough.

Bring the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Use a 1-ounce spring-release scoop or two soup spoons to drop golf-ball-size dumplings evenly over the surface of the stew. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the dumplings are firm, fluffy and somewhat dry on top.

Uncover and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the torn or ribboned basil and serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating Food and Fellowship in the American South,” by the editors of Southern Living and Sheri Castle (Southern Living, 2014).

Tested by Nilar Andrea Chit Tun.

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