These tender dumplings typify Italian simplicity: Quality ingredients and just a few steps make for a delicious dish. Each ingredient shines through with clarity. The spinach lends earthiness, while the eggs create richness. A simple coating of melted butter brings a soft sweetness to the dish. In this method, the dough is gently dropped into simmering water by the spoonful and poached. — Jenn Louis, author of Pasta By Hand: A Collection of Italy’s Regional Hand-Shaped Pasta.
Sauce pairings: Rustic malfatti pair best with melted butter or tomato sauce.
- 2 Pounds fresh spinach, stemmed
- 4 eggs
- 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
- 1¼ Cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Sauce of your choice
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water. Bring a large pot filled with generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the spinach and blanch until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove immediately from the pot with tongs and transfer to the ice bath. When cool, drain the spinach in a colander. Place the spinach in a kitchen towel and wring until mostly dry; a bit of residual moisture is fine.
Set a medium-mesh strainer over a large bowl. In a blender or food processor, process the eggs and spinach until smooth. Strain the spinach-egg mixture into the bowl. Discard the solids left in the strainer.
Add the salt and flour to the strained spinach-egg mixture, gently folding with a rubber spatula until the dough is cohesive and has the consistency of thick pancake batter.
(To store, refrigerate, in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, for up to 1 day. Do not freeze malfatti.)
Bring another large pot filled with generously salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Using two tablespoons, drop dollops of dough into the simmering water and cook until the malfatti float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and finish with your choice of sauce. Serve right away.