Although translated as ‘badly made’, thats where the translated similarity ends about these wonderful little ricotta & parmesan dumplings that go from ingredients on the counter to being on the table in around 30 minutes.

Simple, straightforward and super tasty – the great thing about a dish like this is that you can really then make it your own as it isn’t shackled to one type of sauce to be used or even the flavours you decide to add to the basic formula of flour and cheese mix outlined below.

A really perfect meal for when you might be pressed for time but in the mood for something special!

  • Ricotta, Parmesan, Egg, Salt, flour
Ingredients – what else I added
  • Smoked Bacon – 2 rashers
  • Swiss chard – 4 stalks
  • Soft herbs – 1 chopped cup (I went for parsley & dill)
  • Butter – 2 Tbsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon – 1/2
  • In a food processor, quickly mix the ricotta, Parmesan, egg and salt until combined then transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • Sift the flour over the top (you can use either plain or ’00’) and gently fold into the cheese and egg mixture. This is the stage, pre folding that you can throw in the chopped herbs of your choosing
  • Turn the contents of the bowl out onto a floured surface and divide into four before then rolling out each quarter into a long rope (as long as you can go, about 18-20″)
  • Cut into pieces, about 3/4″ and then quickly roll into a rough ball (using floured hands) before placing on a tray lined with parchment paper
  • Whilst preparing the final bits, pop the Malfatti into the fridge. This will help them firm up slightly before cooking
  • Wash and trim the stalk end of the chard by about 1″ and then roughly chop the whole lot. You don’t want to cut the whole stalk off as this is one of the best bits when cooked in butter and black pepper a few steps down
  • Put a large pan of salted water on to bring to the boil before turning down to a rolling simmer
  • If using, dice your bacon into smallish pieces and fry off until golden and crisp then set aside
  • Now its time to multi task! In the same pan as the bacon, start to brown the butter lightly then toss in the chard to start cooking. At the same time, gently spoon the Malfatti into the simmering water, they should take about 3 minutes to float to the top and then you know they are ready. Depending on how many you are serving up, you might want to work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot
  • Bacon and Malfatti can now be popped into the pan with the chard, black pepper and a couple of spoons of the cooking water to help thicken the sauce and bring everything together
  • Serve up in bowls with parmesan and a sprinkling of grated lemon zest/ squeeze of juice

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