Malfatti (Ricotta Gnocchi)

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Step 1.

Gently crush your two cloves of garlic, then peel them.

Step 2.

Start by making a simple tomato sauce. In a saucepan, warm 3 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat and add your garlic.

Step 3.

After a few minutes they should be lightly golden brown. Strip the leaves from the basil and add to the oil (be careful, it might spit!).

Step 4.

Stir and cook for 1 min, then add the chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Leave to simmer for about 15 mins until thickened. Taste again and add salt as needed.

Step 5.

Now the malfatti. First, wilt the spinach in a hot pan with a pinch of salt and a splash of water.

Step 6.

Drain the spinach and once cool, wring out as much liquid as possible (otherwise the mixture will be runny) then finely chop.

Step 7.

In a large mixing bowl combine the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, flour, egg, nutmeg, a tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Step 8.

Line a tray with greaseproof paper and a dusting of flour.

Step 9.

Now take a spoon of the mixture and use your hands to roll it into a little ball, slightly smaller than a golf ball.

Step 10.

Pop them on the tray, then repeat with the remaining mix.

Step 11.

Cook the malfatti in plenty of boiling salted water. Once they all float to the surface, give them another minute, then drain.

Step 12.

Warm up the tomato sauce and make a little bed on the plate, then top with the malfatti. Add a grating of parmesan if you like.

I’ve made them with a tomato sauce but they’re also great with butter and sage.

For the tomato sauce
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Bunch of Basil
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
Olive Oil
For the malfatti
500g Spinach
500g Ricotta
100g Parmesan
50g Plain Flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 Large Egg
Pinch of Nutmeg