Tomato Dumplings

*Tomato Dumplings*
Serves 4 to 6

Light, fluffy and wonderfully savory dumplings floating on a delicious sea of a robust and tasty tomato sauce.  What's not to like about these lovely taste tempting babies?

1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper (1/2 medium green pepper)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk of celery)
1/4 cup butter (2 ounces)
1 bay leaf, broken in half
28 ounces tinned tomatoes, in their juices, un-drained (2 (400g) tins)
1 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings:
1 cup plain flour (100g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Italian garlic seasoning
1 TBS cold butter
1 TBS snipped fresh parsley
2/3 cup of milk (160ml)

Melt the butter in a large skillet, over medium high heat.  (You will want to use one with a lid)  When it begins to foam, add the onion, green pepper and celery.  Cook, stirring, until they are tender, without coloring.  Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, brown sugar, basil, salt and pepper.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

To make the dumplings, whisk the flour, baking powder and garlic seasoning together in a bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Stir in the parsley and then finally the milk, mixing only together until the dry ingredients are uniformly moistened.

Remove the lid from the simmering tomato mixture and drop the dumpling batter onto the top of the simmering liquid by tablespoonfuls.  Cover tightly with the lid and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes without peeking, until a toothpick inserted into one of the dumplings comes out clean and they look set and somewhat dry on the top.  Serve immediately, spooned out onto warm plates.