“Malfatti” translates to “poorly made” – these dumplings are rustic but delicious, and a long time favorite family recipe. Be careful in varying from the recipe or risk having your dumplings dissolve in their cooking water!
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1 c ricotta
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. fine dry bread crumbs (no substitutions!)
1/4 c scallions minced
3 T fresh basil or 2 ½ t dried
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ t nutmeg
½ c flour
pasta of your choice
prepared tomato sauce
Place the 1/2 cup of flour in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.
Press the thawed spinach in a colander to remove as much water as possible. Place in a large bowl and add cheeses, bread crumbs, scallions, eggs, garlic, basic and nutmeg. Mix well using your hands is messy but efficient. Divide into 16 equal portions and form each into 3″ log shapes. Roll each log in the flour and place on a small baking sheet and put it into the freezer for at least an hour.
When ready to eat, put on a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Gently add malfatti and simmer for 3 minutes after they rise to the top. Serve hot over pasta with your favorite tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
My new favorite summer tomato recipe, adapted from the Smitten Kitchen.
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved or the same amount of ripe garden tomatoes sliced thick or a combination of both
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.
Made this with the 4th big bag of spring spinach from our CSA farm this year. Great for a side dish or brunch dish, even main dish.
2 lbs fresh spinach, washed, with tough stems removed
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 ½ c milk
1 c grated Gruyère or cheddar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ c Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9″ square baking dish and set aside.
Prepare spinach and then cook until wilted in a large pot of boiling salted water (takes between 30 seconds and 1 minute). Drain well, press out excess water and chop fine on a cutting board. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with wisk until smooth, add the spinach, onions and Gruyère or cheddar and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and pour into baking dish. Top with Parmesan.
Bake until custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman