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Like Gnudi, Malfatti are a type of gnocchi made with spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. These delicious, flavorful little dumplings are typical of Tuscan and Lombard cuisine. They are very easy to make and melt in the mouth.
Table des matières
Unlike gnocchi, which are made with potatoes (or Roman semolina gnocchi), Malfatti are made with spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, a little flour and egg. They are a classic of Italy's poor, lean cuisine.
In Italian, malfatti means"badly made", as they have a rather irregular shape. They are almost round, but not perfectly so.
💙 Why you'll love them
- They're very easy to make: just cook the spinach, chop it up, mix it with the other ingredients, roll into balls and cook in boiling water.
- They require only a handful of ingredients, and are easy to find and use!
- They can be kept for several days and are perfect for batch cooking.
These are the main ingredients, and the quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
- Spinach: fresh spinach is best.
- Ricotta cheese.
- Flour: all-purpose flour
- Egg - ideally pasture-raised organic. You can refer to the Eco Tips I've written on eggs to help you choose the right ones.
- Parmesan: prefer fresh, block Parmesan. Of course, it takes some effort to grate it yourself, but it's so much better!
- Garlic - if you want to choose your garlic carefully so you do not encourage the slavery of Chinese prisoners, read my Eco Tips on the subject.
🥰 Chef's tips
- When pan-frying, it's very important to let ALL the water evaporate from the spinach. Otherwise your dough will be too runny and you'll need much more flour and Parmesan.
- Once they've finished cooking in water, don't hesitate to pan-fry them for a few minutes with a large knob of butter to crisp them up slightly.
💡 Frequently Asked Questions
I like to pair them with a tomato sauce and a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese as a topping. You can also accompany them with a sage butter (in this recipe), which is the traditional accompaniment.
❄️Storage / freezing
Once cooked, you can store them for 2 days in an airtight container (tupperware-style) in the fridge.
And if you want to freeze them: once cold, place them in a freezer bag on which you've written the date and recipe beforehand. Put them in the freezer and you'll be able to keep them for a few months.
To defrost them, I recommend putting them in the oven for a few minutes (they can give off a lot of water in the microwave).
If you make these Malfatti, it would be so nice to leave me a comment and rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. You can also tag me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Tik Tok, or even send me a photo, I love seeing my little dishes in your homes!
Italian Malfatti (spinach ricotta dumplings)
- 21 oz fresh spinach
- 4 oz ricotta cheese
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Wash the spinach and cut off the tough stems. Fry until reduced in size and water content.
- Leave to cool, then grate the Parmesan cheese. Chop the spinach with scissors, then add the ricotta, flour, egg and Parmesan.
- Mix, then generously flour your hands and work surface. Take some of the mixture, place it on the floured work surface and roll it into a small ball. Repeat until you've used up all the ingredients.
- Plunge into a pan of boiling water. Once the balls rise, allow about 1-2 minutes.
- Optional: I like to fry them in a knob of butter in a frying pan after boiling, so that they are slightly crispy. But you can stop at the previous step, depending on your tastes.