Malfatti -Ricotta dumplings

I was familiar with malfatti, the Italian dumpling made with ricotta, spinach or Swiss chard. If you search the Internet for this dish, or consult an Italian cooking book, that is what you will find.  However, in the current issue of Bon appetite, in a feature article Summer Like an Italian, there is a lighter, simpler version of this dish.  I followed the directions in the magazine almost exactly, and found that the results were a light, delicate pasta.

With a little organization, this recipe definitely falls into the “less than thirty minutes” category.

My brother John came for lunch and we had a good time cooking together.  I thought it would be a great dish for guy to enjoy cooking, and he left with plans to make his own malfatti for guests this week-end.



  1. 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  2. 6 ounces Parmesan, finely grated
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1-teaspoon salt
  5. 1-cup all-purpose flour plus more


Special equipment:  A sheet of cheesecloth or a thin cotton kitchen towel

Dust a parchment-lined baking sheet with flour, and set aside.  Dust flour on the surface you plan to make the malfatti.

Put a pot of salted water on the stove over medium heat until it simmers. Reduce heat. Don’t allow to boil.

Place the ricotta in the middle of the cheesecloth or thin cotton kitchen towel.

Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth or towel and make a ball with the ricotta squeezing out excess liquid.

Place the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add the cup of flour and mix until barely combined.

Gather the mixture up making a ball and place on the floured surface.

Cut into 4 sections.

Take each section and roll with the palms of your hands making a rope about 1 to 3-4”

Cut the rope into ¾” pieces and place on the pre-prepared flour lined baking sheet.

Working in batches, cook the dumplings until about 3 minutes, until they come to the top.

Scoop out onto a warmed platter.

Serve with tomato sauce.  Sprinkle added Parmesan if desired.

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