Monday, February 9, 2009


NY Times Magazine

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach (weighed after trimming) or 2 packages frozen

  • 6 ounces crusty Italian bread (about half a loaf)

  • Hot water

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 to 1 cup dry, coarse bread crumbs

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Flour

  • 3 cups hot tomato sauce, preferably homemade

  1. Cook the fresh spinach in the water clinging to the leaves after washing, or cook the frozen according to package instructions. Drain over a bowl, squeezing out as much water as possible — do this in small handfuls so you can press out the most water — and chop. Reserve the water.
  2. Briefly soak the bread in the reserved spinach water plus enough hot water to cover and squeeze dry.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the spinach, bread, sautéed onion and garlic and put through the finest blade of a meat grinder or pulse in a food processor until chopped, then scrape into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the dry bread crumbs, the cup of Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper and basil. Stir in the eggs. With lightly floured hands, gently shape the mixture into sausagelike links, 1 inch round by 3 inches long. If they do not hold together, add more bread crumbs. Lay on a baking sheet.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the links, one at a time, into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to let the water barely simmer and cook until the malfatti float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and place in a greased baking dish, large enough to fit the malfatti in a single layer.
  6. Spoon the tomato sauce over the links, sprinkle with lots of cheese and broil to reheat.

Recipe Notes:
My Notes: This was time-consuming, but fun to make on a Saturday afternoon that Tim had to work. I clearly didn't broil as directed in step 6, because I knew I couldn't put pyrex in my broiler and I didn't feel like digging around for the right pan. These were surprisingly light, and really delicious. Other recipes for malfatti include ricotta cheese, which I may try next time.

Liz's Rating: 9.5/10
Tim's Rating: 10/10 ("I feel like I am in Italy again.")


VeggieGirl said...

Glad it was worth the time it took to make!! Looks like Christmas :-D

HaveShoesWillTravel said...

Interesting. I've never heard of this before.

Dunc said...

I feel like an imbecile for never having heard of this, but it looks great. As usual, it's going on my list!

Linds said...

I cut the original recipe out of the NY Times weeks ago and it has been sitting on my counter. Yours looks delicious and I am excited to finally give it a try!

Liz said...

Sarah- I had never heard of it either, so if you're an imbecile, count me in :) Oh, and Tim too.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am LOVING this dish. I love authentic, time consuming dishes that you can make on the weekend and really put some work into. I'll have to try! Thank you!

Gina said...

YUM! Cheese and spinach dumplings? Sounds awesome!

n.o.e said...

Oh, wow, these look good. I missed that recipe, so I'm glad to see it on your blog. Yum!