Malfatti Recipe

Overflown with spinach or trying to have a green bite? Check out this Italian Malfatti recipe and that will have the best side!

Malfatti-recipe-1-SunCakeMomIt’s fascinating that most of us love to take a stroll under the canopy of lush green or happily get involved to do any outdoor activity where a green floor involved, yet when it comes to stuff greens down, many of us find themselves with the defiance of a five-year-old.

We associate green with health, hence all the organic and health connected products from food through shops to restaurants are vibrating in one of its many shades. Yet, once green things without proper carbs content (i.e., anything but peas) come in contact with our plate, we treat them like their  sole purpose would be decorating our plate.

Sure, a bit of salad next to our French fries helps to feign that we may actually eat something nutritious too and don’t have to explain our consciousness why we just gulped down two days’ worth of calories at one sitting.

Interestingly, after a couple of times throwing out salad from our plate, we can stop even pretending that we try eating nutritious food and go on an unrestricted assault on fat and carbs waiting for scurvy to appear at our table one day.

Creating habits is easy, and creating ones that are enjoyable yet self-harming on the long run, seems to be much easier.

Unfortunately, many of our bad habits are created in our childhood, sometimes out of ignorance and at others by good intentions. Changing them requires not just some pretty hard work but many times demolishing the image, we created about ourselves and the world around us.

Hiding veggies mixed into sauces or dough of starch and meat may seem like a good idea, that fills the dish with the necessary nutrients but such ignorance kicks us off on a path that leads to suffering and disappointment.

Embracing life in its fullest with all its imperfections and necessities is essential to build a holistic approach to our health and nothing could be better candidate for that than some tasty Italian.

Some may argue that malfatti isn’t the best candidate for retraining our brain for healthy dieting habits but since its Mediterranean (and anything that comes from that, like pizza) it must be good. Given that, it’s not screwed up as badly as it’s been done with those monstrosities, we call pizza on this side of the pond.

Malfatti hasn’t got anything to do with fatties but it’s solely an Italian word for the “Badly made” gnocchi that the Malfatti is.

The word gnocchi is probably derived from the word of “nocchio” or “nocca” which are Italian words for “knot in wood” or “knuckle” respectively. None of them has a lot to do with the potato filled floury dough that is cooked in boiling water, except maybe that gnocchi could resemble both of them if we are blessed with a strong enough imagination.

Gnocchi is popular in Italy since Roman times, in their most basic water and flour form with or without eggs. Although, nowadays potatoes seem to be the most popular filling for gnocchi, ricotta cheese has been present in Italy since the Bronze Age, so ricotta gnocchi isn’t really the newest kid around the block.

In fact, even Spinach arrived sooner to the Mediterranean, in around the 10th century contrasted with the potato fairly late introduction to the old world, five hundred years later.

Since then, all the ingredients had some time to take root in the Italian cuisine and became part of their national identity in the process.

Malfatti is a roughly made ricotta spinach gnocchi that, despite its unassuming appearance, is capable to conquer anyone’s heart after the first bite.

While malfatti is frequently paired with tomato sauce and served as a dish if we care not for the Italian traditions of eating pasta as an appetizer on its own, we can accompany malfatti on the side of our protein filled dishes too.

Choose either way, once we embrace the wriggling imperfections of the green fuzziness, embedded in starchy protein and fat filled dumplings, we can almost forget that we are having something green.Malfatti-recipe-4-SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Malfatti

  • 250g Ricotta (drain overnight if wet)
  • 300g Spinach (roughly cut)
  • 1 medium / 50g Egg
  • ½ cup / 70g Plain flour
  • 2½ oz / 100g Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg (grated) (optional)
  • 1 Lemon zest (optional)

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon / 30ml Olive oil
  • 3 cloves / 9g Garlic
  • 28 oz / 800g Tomato puree or peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon / 3g Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon / 1g Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon / 3g Oregano

How to make Malfatti

Preparation

Ricotta
  1. Ricotta in the US tend to be a bit on the wet side. Drain the ricotta overnight in the fridge or use a cheesecloth to squeeze out most of the moisture.Ricotta-cheese-drain--gp--1-SunCakeMom
Spinach
Blanching
  1. There are two methods to prepare the spinach for ricotta. The first one is simply blanching it which means placing the spinach leaves into boiling water for about a minute or two.Spinach--gp--1-SunCakeMom-2
  2. Once the leaves are wilted and considerably reduced in size, they need to be cooled down under cold running water or in icy water.Spinach--gp--3-SunCakeMom-2
Stir-frying
  1. The other method consists of sautéing (stir-frying) a bit of garlic on hot oil.Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-brown--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  2. Add the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are wilted.Spinach--gp--2-SunCakeMom-2

 

  1. Let the leaves cool down and squeeze out the remaining liquid from the leaves.Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom

Assembly

  1. Mix the drained ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, any optional ingredients and the squeezed spinach together.Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  2. With two wet spoon measure out and form the desired sized malfatti.Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  3. Put a batch of malfatti into boiling water.Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  4. Once the malfatti comes up the surface, take them out. Let them drip.Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom

Sauce

  1. Sauté (stir-fry) a bit of garlic on hot oil until it gets a brownish color, about a minute.Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-brown--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  2. Pour in the tomato puree or peeled tomatoes.Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-tomato-sauce-puree--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  3. Cook on low to medium heat until the puree reduced by a third or the peeled tomatoes come apart completely. Add salt, black pepper and oregano to taste. Let it cool a bit then serve tomato sauce with malfatti.Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-tomato-sauce-puree--gp--2-SunCakeMom

Enjoy!Malfatti-recipe-2-SunCakeMom

Malfatti-recipe-g16x9-SunCakeMom
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5 from 1 vote

Malfatti Recipe

Overflown with spinach or trying to have a green bite? Check out this Italian Malfatti recipe and that will have the best side!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Meal, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 317kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Malfatti
  • 1 cup Ricotta drain overnight if wet
  • 10 cups Spinach roughly cut
  • 1 medium Egg
  • ½ cup Plain flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg grated (optional)
  • 1 Lemon zest optional
Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • cup Tomato puree or peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon Oregano

Instructions

Ricotta

  • Ricotta in the US tend to be a bit on the wet side. Drain the ricotta overnight in the fridge or use a cheesecloth to squeeze out most of the moisture.
    Ricotta-cheese-drain--gp--1-SunCakeMom

Spinach

  • Blanching
  • There are two methods to prepare the spinach for ricotta. The first one is simply blanching it which means placing the spinach leaves into boiling water for about a minute or two.
    Spinach--gp--1-SunCakeMom-2
  • Once the leaves are wilted and considerably reduced in size, they need to be cooled down under cold running water or in icy water.
    Spinach--gp--3-SunCakeMom-2
  • Stir-frying
  • The other method consists of sautéing (stir-frying) a bit of garlic on hot oil.
    Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-brown--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  • Add the spinach leaves and sauté until the leaves are wilted.
    Spinach--gp--2-SunCakeMom-2
  • Let the leaves cool down and squeeze out the remaining liquid from the leaves.
    Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom

Assembly

  • Mix the drained ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, any optional ingredients and the squeezed spinach together.
    Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  • With two wet spoon measure out and form the desired sized malfatti.
    Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Put a batch of malfatti into boiling water.
    Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Once the malfatti comes up the surface, take them out. Let them drip.
    Malfatti recipe - SunCakeMom

Sauce

  • Sauté (stir-fry) a bit of garlic on hot oil until it gets a brownish color, about a minute.
    Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-brown--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  • Pour in the tomato puree or peeled tomatoes.
    Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-tomato-sauce-puree--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  • Cook on low to medium heat until the puree reduced by a third or the peeled tomatoes come apart completely. Add salt, black pepper and oregano to taste. Let it cool a bit then serve tomato sauce with malfatti.
    Garlic-saute-stir-fry-skillet-tomato-sauce-puree--gp--2-SunCakeMom

Notes

Enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 317kcal (16%) | Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) | Protein: 20g (40%) | Fat: 14g (22%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg (24%) | Sodium: 989mg (43%) | Potassium: 1257mg (36%) | Fiber: 6g (25%) | Sugar: 10g (11%) | Vitamin A: 7011IU (140%) | Vitamin C: 38mg (46%) | Calcium: 458mg (46%) | Iron: 6mg (33%)

Pin now, Enjoy later!

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