Home » Food » Spinach and walnut malfatti with herby tomato salsa and chilli parmesan sprinkles

Spinach and walnut malfatti with herby tomato salsa and chilli parmesan sprinkles


The name malfatti translates to ‘badly made’ in Italian, so don’t worry about shaping them perfectly.


300g prepared spinach (stalks and roots removed)
20g butter
250g ricotta
100g parmesan, finely grated 3tbsp rice flour, plus extra for dusting the malfatti
50g Serr walnuts, finely chopped
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

For the salsa
100ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
15g bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and roughly chopped (or leaves left whole if they are small)

For the sprinkles
50g parmesan, finely grated
1 tsp chilli flakes
finely zested rind from 1 orange

To finish
20g butter
3tbsp olive oil


Put the spinach in a large pan and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Add 1tsp salt. Bring to the boil, by which time the spinach will have wilted. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well. Squeeze all excess water out of the spinach a little at a time. When done, chop finely and put on kitchen paper. Melt the butter over a low to medium heat. Once it’s sizzling, sautée the spinach for 4 minutes, stirring often. Place in a colander and put to one side to cool completely. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Put the ricotta in a bowl and mix in the parmesan, flour and walnuts. Stir in the spinach, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix in the eggs. Scatter a baking tray with a thin layer of extra flour and another with some oil. Mould the malfatti into fat cork shapes. Place them on the floured tray. When the water is boiling, throw in a tablespoon of salt and add 5 malfatti at a time to cook for 3 minutes. As they rise to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Let them drain, then place on the oiled tray.

To make the salsa, warm the extra virgin olive oil in a small pan. Add the tomatoes and parsley. Season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To make the chilli parmesan sprinkles, mix the ingredients together and put in a small bowl.

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Fry the malfatti on all sides until lightly golden. Serve immediately with the salsa and sprinkles.

Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes
Recipes and food styling: Linda Tubby

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