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
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.