Friday, July 30, 2010

Badly made

That's what malfatti means in Italian. They're like gnocchi, but made with spinach and ricotta cheese instead of potatoes and flour. And for these I used grated zucchini in the place of spinach. The idea came from a friend the other day while we discussed different things to do with the surplus of zucchini we home gardeners eventually have to deal with. I think they're called malfatti because they aren't particularly well formed; they look rustic rather than pretty.

Malfatti dumplings ready to be cooked.

First, I grated two small zucchini in the food processor, salted them and let them drain for about ten minutes. Then I squeezed them with a clean towel to remove as much water as possible. Next, I mixed the dried zucchini with ricotta cheese, a bit of grated parmesan, some breadcrumbs, a small bunch of scallions finely minced , a clove of garlic finely minced, salt, pepper, some grated nutmeg, and two eggs. I did this last part with my hands to make a uniform mixture. That went into the fridge for about twenty minutes to rest.

Malfatti served with a sage butter sauce.

Meanwhile, I brought a large pot of water to the boil and added salt. I formed the dough into small logs about four inches long, rolled them in flour, then cut them into one-inch pieces. In batches, I dropped the malfatti into the boiling water. They are ready when they come back up to the surface. I scooped them out with a slotted spoon and put them into a warming oven.

The last step is the sauce. Any sauce you like will do. For this first effort, I melted some butter and olive oil in a small pan and fried fresh sage leaves until they crisped up. Then I poured the sauce on the warm malfatti and served them. They were light and fluffy and delicious!


  1. This looks amazing!!! This is right up my alley, I love zucchini, plus it's a great way to get veggies in my kid (I can't believe the veggie fight is starting already!). Do you think it would be good with a tomato sauce (I'm thinking a little healthier than the butter)?

  2. Wow, those look really, really good!

  3. Okay, now I'm starving! Thanks! : )

  4. I am all over these. They look delicious! Can't wait to try them.

  5. They look SO good!!

    p.s. Have you set up a spreadsheet for the 5am mystery car? ;)

  6. They really look luscious.

  7. These are now on my list to make! Thanks, Victoria, Bellingham, WA

  8. I'm definitely making this over the weekend. I have to get rid of all this zucchini (and I only have one plant!) I'm thinking a tomato puree poured over these would be tasty. Any suggestions as to seasoning the tomato puree?

  9. vivi, absolutely! I think that would be very good.

    judy, oh, they were!

    rick, anytime. ;)

    suzanne, let me know what you think.

    bettyann, no spreadsheet yet!

    starman, light and fluffy.

    victoria, cool.

    cheryl, let us know how they turn out. Seasonings? Herbs and wine?


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