Prep Time: 45 minutes total
Cook Time: 30 minutes total
Keywords: boil entree pasta nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian carrots zucchini wheat flour Polish
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 12 oz. / 340 g fresh carrots, possibly organic, orange or rainbow
- 12 oz. / 340 g fresh zucchini, possibly organic, green or yellow
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml EV olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic (4 if small), minced
- 1 tablespoon / 14 g unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves of a good number of sprigs of fresh thyme (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3.5 oz. / 100 g fresh [homemade] ricotta drained of excess whey, so it is soft but not too wet (weigh it after draining)
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. all-purpose flour
- 55 g / 2 oz. warm water (I recommend weighing the water)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon / 14 g browned butter OR regular butter
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Note: As usual, I recommend starting with a small amount of dough to become familiar with the process. The given dough recipe makes about 16 pierogi, enough for 2 people. The amount of vegetables allows you to make two batches of pierogi (in which case you'll need to double the dough and also the amount of ricotta). You can serve any leftover vegetables as side dish.Prepare the vegetables
Scrub carrots well and scrape surface with a blade to remove thin layer of skin. Julienne carrots using a mandoline.
Wash zucchini, trim top and tail and julienne using a mandoline. For both vegetables, make sure the resulting strips are no longer than 1 1/4 inch / 3.2 cm.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. (Alternatively, if you have an oil mister, coat well the bottom of the skillet.) Add garlic and let it infuse the oil for one minute. Add the butter and let melt on medium-low heat.
Add the carrots, stir well to coat and cook until they start to soften, 4-5 minutes. (Fresher vegetables will take less time to cook.)
Add the zucchini, stir well and cook until they also start to soften, 4-5 minutes.
Cover the pan and cook the vegetables on gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. If the skillet becomes dry, add a tablespoon of water.
At this point, the vegetables should be tender, yet not mushy. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Distribute thyme over the vegetables and toss well.
If you decide to serve the vegetables right away, set aside 3.5 oz. / 100 g for the filling (twice as much, if you plan to make 2 batches of pierogi). If you prepare the filling in advance, refrigerate until ready to use.Make the dough and make pierogi
Make a dough with the ingredients. It is easier to start in a small bowl, then, when you have a shaggy dough, turn it onto a lightly floured working surface. Knead the dough just until smooth, soft and elastic. Let it rest, well covered (e.g., lightly floured and wrapped in plastic film), for half an hour or so.
Note: this recipe interestingly adds the water in two batches, the first hot and the second cold, with a rest after each addition. I have tried this method, but I cannot say that the resulting dough felt or tasted noticeably different.
With a fork, gently mash the ricotta then add it to the measured filling and mix well.
Roll the dough until quite thin (1 mm thickness). You can use your hands and a rolling pin or a pasta machine for this. While you want to make sure the dough does not stick to either the board or the rolling pin, avoid having too much flour on the surface where you will deposit the filling, because you need to make the border stick. If there is flour, dust it off.
To prevent the dough from drying out while you work, roll half at a time and make sure you keep scraps covered, so you can re-roll and cut them.
With a 3 inch / 7.5 cm scalloped cookie cutter, cut a circle of dough and with a teaspoon, deposit on it a dollop of filling. When measuring the amount of filling, strike a balance between the desire to have a well-stuffed pieróg and the need to seal it tight and without tearing the dough.
With your hands, fold one half of the circle over the filling to meet the other half. Seal the border of the resulting half moon. Pinch, pleat or otherwise make the border decorative — or not, like I did for the most part, just pressing the two halves to seal it. Fill dough as you cut it so it doesn't dry.
Place the completed pierogi on a floured plate.Cook and dress pierogi
Bring a pot of water to a boil. I like to cook the pierogi all together, so I use my 5-qt. stainless steel Dutch oven and fill it with close to 4 qts / 3.8 l of water. Add some coarse salt and stir.
Gently slide pierogi into the boiling water. They will rise as they cook. This happens relatively quickly, so don't wander away from the pot. Since the filling is already cooked, once the dough is cooked, the pierogi are ready.
In the meantime, melt browned butter in a skillet on low heat.
Taste a corner of dough to make sure that they are cooked. When ready, take pierogi out of the water with a skimmer, drain and deposit in the skillet with the butter.
Turn up heat to medium-low and gently stir the pierogi to lightly pan-fry them. Sprinkle half the Parmigiano-Reggiano on the pierogi and give them a final stir. Plate and sprinkle the remaining cheese on them. Serve immediately.