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Silverbeet & Ricotta Italian dumplings (Malfatti)

Silverbeet & Ricotta Italian dumplings (Malfatti)

Malfatti: somewhere between gnocchi and ravioli — like a ravioli’s inside. Literally translated to “badly made,” this pasta is so easy to make that even the most disasterous chefs can nail it in no time. Malfatti don’t have to be pretty, precisely cut, well-proportioned, or neatly folded. Quite the opposite. They’re meant to be irregular, misshapen, and malformed. Enjoy!

  • 500 gram silverbeet, trimmed. Save the stalks for another dish like silverbeet gratin
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • 250g ricotta cheese ( preferably a dry type) 
  • 1/3 cup (30g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 handful of grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Tomato sauce
  • 425 gram tin tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • S & P to taste
  • Use your basil stalks for extra flavour.


  1. Boil your silverbeet until tender; drain. Squeeze out excess liquid; chop finely.
  2. Combine silverbeet ( when cold) in large bowl with ricotta, parmesan, egg, basil and nutmeg. Add flour little by little. If too wet, add a bit more. Mix well.  
  3. Roll into balls.
  4. Make the tomato sauce. Heat in medium saucepan and add diced onion and garlic, when fragrant add tinned tomatoes and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes and blend. Finish it up by adding your basil stalk for extra flavour, S & P to taste and simmer for another 10-15 min.
  5. Using a spoon, gently place balls into large saucepan of boiling water. Reduce heat slightly; simmer about 2 minutes or until balls rise to surface.
  6. Remove them using slotted spoon; drain. Serve immediately with sauce; sprinkle with extra parmesan, and garnish with fresh basil leaves.


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