Packed with spinach, malfatti are a delicious type of dumpling, and are very easy to make. They’re great for a dinner party all year round, suiting both cold wintry evenings with the rich melting cheese, or as a summer evening Italian treat. Type 00 flour is perfect for making malfatti. Use a coarse semolina flour to roll the dumplings in for ease of shaping.
To serve, simply drizzle with sage infused beurre noisette.
Allow approximately 3 per person for a starter, and 5 per person for a main (they’re very rich).
Makes 24 malfatti
Steam the spinach until wilted, drain, and squeeze out any excess water thoroughly. Finely chop, and set to one side to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the type 00 flour, the three cheeses, the egg, nutmeg, cayenne (if using), and season liberally with ground black pepper. Stir through the spinach evenly and combine.
Flour a large baking tray thickly with the semolina. Take roughly a heaped teaspoonful of dough and roll it into a ball using your hands, finishing it off by rolling it in the semolina, which makes the sticky dough easier to handle when finishing the shape. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect, malfatti apparently translates very roughly as “badly formed”. Fill the baking tray with them as you go, ready for cooking.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and lower the malfatti in using a metal slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the pan – you may need to do them in batches. When they are ready, they will rise to the top. Remove using the metal slotted spoon and plate up.
In the meantime, prepare your sage beurre noisette so that it is ready to go. Melt the butter with the sage in a pan over a medium heat until it starts to froth and foam. Once the butter starts to separate into creamy solids and golden yellow liquid, wait for the solids to turn a golden brown and then remove from the heat.
Pour the beurre noisette straight over the malfatti and serve warm. Season with salt and pepper if it needs it and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.