NY Times Magazine
2 pounds fresh spinach (weighed after trimming) or 2 packages frozen
6 ounces crusty Italian bread (about half a loaf)
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
3 cups hot tomato sauce, preferably homemade
- 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.
- Briefly soak the bread in the reserved spinach water plus enough hot water to cover and squeeze dry.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spoon the tomato sauce over the links, sprinkle with lots of cheese and broil to reheat.
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.")