Spinach Malfatti With Sage Brown Butter Sauce


1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese
2 cups packed fresh spinach
1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs or panko
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup minced green onions
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
Approximately 10 sage leaves


1. In a medium covered saucepan, steam spinach in 2 tablespoons water until done, approximately 1 minute. Drain spinach and squeeze out extra liquid until very dry.
2. Combine spinach with all ingredients, except flour and sage. Refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Bring a large pot half full of salted water to a simmer. Drop spinach cheese mixture by tablespoons into flour and roll each lightly into long logs. Cut into 1 ½- inch dumplings.
4. Drop dumplings into the gently simmering water. When they rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
5. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Once butter begins to brown, add sage and cook until leaves are crisp (approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Spoon brown butter over malfatti and top with the crisp sage leaves. If preferred, top with more Parmesan cheese.


Joe Freedman's picture

Looks good but how much spinach? It isn't in the ingredients list.

Sheri Wetherell's picture

Sorry about that, Joe! I used about 2 cups packed fresh spinach, however, you can use more for a more spinach-dense malfatti, or less for a lighter version.

pem13's picture

The 2nd ingredient is 2 cups of spinach!

Rick's picture

This looks like a great choice for those of us who love pasta but are looking for a 'lower carb' alternative (that doesn't taste like cardboard!) As it's a rainy fall day here, this is on the list for dinner tonight along with some fresh salmon (I caught yesterday!)
I enjoy reading your newsletters and trying your 'suggestions'.
Thanks Sheri.

Jennie's picture

These look delicious and I look forward to trying them, but I am confused. As they are made with bread crumbs or panko, doesn't that make them basically ricotta gnocchi made with cooked vs. raw flour? Not sure it's fair to say they are not made with flour, but perhaps the form is what makes them lighter? Thanks.

Carolyn's picture

Cant wait to try!

Meredith's picture

I can't wait to try it, as I love gnocchi. One question - how many servings does this make? Thanks!

Sheri Wetherell's picture

About 2 main course servings.


In Italian, malfatti translates to "bad made." Unlike gnocchi, their dumpling cousin, malfatti are more "roughly" made: hand-rolled, then crudely cut without much thought to uniformity or perfection. But that's precisely what makes them so lovely - their provincial form and handmade taste. Because they're made mostly with ricotta and contain very little flour, the result are light and airy pillows, a feat not so easily achieved in gnocchi making. In fact, if you've ever made gnocchi you'll find that more times than not they turn out more dense than you'd like, and you have to concentrate fiercely on the task at hand, making sure to not overwork the dough. Malfatti, on the other hand, are easy to make and hard to ruin. You can actually do other things as you gingerly roll and cut, like sing along to the opera piping out of your Bose and take sips of your Cabernet!


2-4 servings


Monday, September 12, 2011 - 2:40pm


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