Potato, Cheese and Anchovy Dumplings with a Fresh Tomato Sauce

A good supper dish, which I like to accompany with a green salad and hot crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 675 g/ lb potatoes
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 100 g/4 oz plain flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50 g/2 oz tin anchovies
  • 175 g/6 oz strong Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 medium eggs
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the sauce

  • 450 g/1 lb ripe tomatoes, the plum variety if available
  • 75 g/3 oz butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves (optional)

Method

Peel the potatoes and cook them in boiling salted water until tender, then drain and mash smoothly, adding the butter and milk. Sift the flour on to the potatoes and stir in. Peel the garlic and press through a crusher on to the mixture.

Open the tin of anchovies, pouring the oil on to the potatoes. Cut the fillets up into small pieces. Add these pieces and the grated Cheddar to the potato mixture, then whisk the eggs lightly, season well with salt and black pepper and add to the potatoes. Stir all together thoroughly with a wooden spoon and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the tomatoes in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for about 2 minutes, then peel and chop them up roughly. Put the butter and lemon juice into a pan, add the tomatoes and cook in the open pan over a gentle heat, stirring now and then, until the tomatoes have turned into a mushy sauce. Season with salt and black pepper and keep the sauce warm over the lowest possible heat while you make the dumplings.

Warm a fairly large serving dish. Using well-floured hands, take up pieces of the potato mixture and form into pingpong-sized balls. Put a large saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to a fast boil, then drop in the potato balls. When they rise to the top (after about 5 minutes), take them out carefully with a slotted spoon and arrange in the warmed serving dish.

If you have any basil leaves, tear them into small pieces and stir them into the tomato sauce. Pour the sauce over the dumplings, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve.

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