Learn how to make delicious Italian Malfatti- ricotta & spinach gnocchi from scratch. Step-by-step guide will help you make perfect dish that everybody will like from the very first bite.If you are a huge fan of gnocchi & dumplings, then this is certainly the recipe for you.
WHAT IS MALFATTI?
Malfatti are thick Italian ricotta & spinach dumplings. The name “Malfatti” means ‘badly made’. Originally Italian housewives made them from leftover ravioli filling by adding eggs & flour. Today around different parts of Italy these mouth-watering gnocchi are made in a variety of different ways in a brown butter or tomato sauce.
I can say it is a complete meal in one single bite. It is a very warm & comforting dish that will be perfect for cold winter days.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE MALFATTI?
NO! Some people fear to make any kind of gnocchi or dumplings because of the lack of knowledge. A good news- You don’t need special equipment or complicated cooking techniques. You can easily mess with Malfattti like with any other dish. Too watery dough will make these ricotta & spinach dumplings gummy and too dry will make them heavy and dense.
I hope my step by step instructions with photos will help you overcome your fears and you will try to make Malfatti from the comfort of your home. Below I provide a few important tips.
- I recommend to use only fresh spinach as it tastes much better than frozen one.
- Cook Malfatti (in batches) in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until they turn afloat. Cook another 1-2 minutes before spooning them out.
- I found that Malfetti taste best with brown butter sauce. It’s very important to get the butter to a dark-brown stage. It should not taste greasy, but has a wonderful nutty flavor.
Serve Malfatti immediately tossed in brown butter sauce with Grano Padano cheese (it could be substituted for Parmesan ).
Because of the versatility Malfatti is a great tasting dish that everyone will love from the moment they get a bite of it. Try these Italian spinach dumplings and share your cooking experience!
HOW TO MAKE MALFATTI FROM SCRATCH
- Fresh spinach- 700 gm
- Ricotta cheese- 250 gm
- Large eggs ( lightly beaten)-2
- All purpose flour- 1¼ cup
- Grana Padana/ Parmesan cheese- 70 gm , plus extra 50-60 gm for serving
- Unsalted butter- 150 gm
- Freshly grated nutmeg- ¼ tsp
- Salt- to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper- to taste
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Blanch the spinach* in batches for 2- 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl of iced water to cool.
- Place the cooled spinach onto a clean kitchen towel, wrap and squeeze as much excess water as possible.
- Chop the spinach finely.
- In a non-stick frying pan melt half of butter ( 75 gm) over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until transparent & soft. Add the spinach & cook another 3 minutes.
- Transfer the onion-spinach mixture onto a large plate to cool.
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients ( spinach, ricotta, slightly beaten eggs, flour, Parmesan/ Crana Padano cheese & nutmeg. Adjust salt & black pepper. Mix well to form dough.
- Cover with the plastic and refrigerate for 30-50 minutes. It will help Malfatti hold together when cooking.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Cook malfatti in batches.
- You will need two dessertspoons. Using a dessertspoon, scoop up a spoonful of the mixture. Slide the mixture into water using the second dessertspoon.
- Cook 2 minutes until float on the surface.
- Take them out with a slotted spoon. Drain & transfer onto a plate.
- In a small saucepan melt the remaining 75 gm of butter over medium heat. Cook until it turns dark-brown. It should have a nutty flavor.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan/Grana Padano cheese, pour brown butter over them.
- Serve immediately.