Spinach ricotta malfatti with sage burnt butter
Serves 3 /Makes approx 15 malfatti
This recipe is my modification of one from Rosetta Ristorante in Melbourne, with the proportions scaled for home consumption and tweaks in place to suit my style. As I write this, we're in week 3 of lockdown, and with more time on my hands, these more elegant recipes are highly appealing. It's not complicated; it's absolutely beautiful. If you live within reach of Melbourne or your are making a post-quarantine bucket list, consider adding a dinner at Rosetta to your list.
Sage burnt butter
150 gm unsalted butter, chopped
6 sage leaves
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, to serve
Malfatti1 large bag baby spinach or 1 bunch silverbeet, stalks reserved for another use
1 bunch cavolo nero, stalks discarded
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, bruised
200 gm fresh ricotta, well-drained if homemade
½ cup fine dried breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
⅓ cup "00" flour
Start by making the malfatti. The sauce takes 2 minutes at the very end of this process. Coarsely chop the greens. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and greens and stir occasionally until leaves are soft (5-10 minutes). Drain in a colander, and discard garlic. Allow the greens to cool, then squeeze with clean hands to remove excess liquid. Pulse the greens in a food processor until finely chopped (Do not purée).
Add the ricotta, breadcrumbs, egg, nutmeg and flour to the food processor and blitz to combine. Season well. The mixture should look dry, but will hold its shape when squeezed into a ball. Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to shape the mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until needed. Malfatti will keep refrigerated for 1-2 days.
When ready to serve, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the malfatti until they float (3 minutes). Drain well and transfer to a warm plate.*
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large frying pan over high heat until it starts to foam (30 seconds). Add the sage, and cook until crisp and the butter just starts to turn golden (1-2 minutes).
Divide malfatti among bowls. Top with the burnt butter, sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve immediately.
*Put boiling water in your bowls when you are about to cook the malfatti. Drain the bowls when it's just about time to serve. The dumplings will stay warm for much longer.