Although malfatto translates into “badly made,” these pillowy dumplings are tender with a rustic character. By omitting the flour, the ricotta and spinach mixture becomes a delicious filling for ravioli or tortellini using homemade pasta (see “Homemade Pasta 101”).
1 lb (450 g) light ricotta
1 cup (250 mL) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 large free-range eggs
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped mint
3 Tbsp (45 mL) whole wheat pastry flour, plus extra to coat malfatti
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 grates fresh nutmeg
Semolina flour, to coat malfatti
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) halved cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Place ricotta in cheesecloth-lined sieve over bowl and let drain in refrigerator overnight. Ricotta should be pretty dry and crumbly.
Place ricotta in large bowl along with dry spinach, eggs, Parmesan, mint, flour, black pepper, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined.
Generously dust one rimmed baking sheet with whole wheat pastry flour and another with semolina. Place tablespoons of ricotta mixture onto tray floured with whole wheat and shake tray around to coat balls in flour. Roll gently between your hands until rounded and then place on semolina-lined tray. Set aside.
Bring large pot of water to boil.
In frying pan, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic, and sauté until tomatoes start to break down, about 4 minutes. Add peas, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes, if using. Reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer slowly for 5 minutes.
When ready to serve, bring pot of water to simmer over medium heat. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot, gently place malfatti into simmering water. When malfatti float back to the surface, remove carefully with slotted spoon and briefly place spoon on clean kitchen towel to drain off excess water. Divide among warm serving plates and repeat with remaining malfatti. Spoon sauce over top and serve with a garnish of Parmesan cheese.
Each serving contains: 236 calories; 16 g protein; 12 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 18 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 227 mg sodium
Good to the last drop
When you are finished with your wedge of Parmesan cheese, don’t throw away the rind. Take a cue from professional chefs and freeze Parmesan rinds in an airtight container. Next time you make a soup or brodo (stock in Italian) add a piece of Parmesan rind when simmering and discard before serving. You will be amazed at the richness and complexity it adds.
source: "Italian Food the Italian Way", alive #366, April 2013
There’s nothing like a roast to feed a crowd. These lean pork tenderloins will reign at the buffet table and will be equally enjoyed hot or cold. Simply prepared with a rub scented with the flavours of your favourite apple pie, the meat is roasted and rested to retain its juices before being laid out on peppery arugula leaves simply dressed in a classic vinaigrette. When is pork done? Has your pork ever come out dry? It could be all down to a number. In 2020, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated its recommended internal temperature from the previously published 160 F (70 C) to 145 F (63 C) to allow for rest time. The new standard reflects a clearer distinction between temperature taken prior to rest time and after. During rest time, the internal temperature continues to rise, reaching the desired 160 F (70 C).
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.