Malfatti with Pomarola

Vegan Malfatti with Tomato Sauce & PestoThis typical Tuscan recipe is fairly easy to prepare and makes a comforting, delicate and delicious meal that everyone will love!

Malfatti is plural for malfatto, which means ”poorly made” in Italian and refers to its rustic appearance. The recipe, which is a variation of the gnocchi recipe, usually includes one egg, but GSU’s version is completely vegan, which makes this dish even more amazing!

Malfatti go great with pomarola (Tuscan style tomato sauce) and pesto, and are best when served with a green salad as an antipasto (first coarse), a good red wine and a fresh homemade focaccia bread!

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 2 pounds of small to medium whole unpeeled potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) of steamed or sautéed chopped spinach (as dry as possible)
  • Optional: nutmeg, crushed pepper, and/or chopped parsley (or add 2 tablespoons of parsley-pesto instead of oil and parsley).

Make the malfatti dough: Boil the potatoes whole for 20 minutes or until they are fully cooked (try not to overcook them, overcooked potatoes will require more flour, which will make the malfatti hard and heavy as opposed to delicate and light). Once they are fully cooked, drain the water and let them cool. While they are still warm, peel and mash the potatoes until you obtain a smooth puree with no noticeable lumps. In a bowl, or the same pot, season mashed potatoes with the salt, oil and parsley (or pesto), add the chopped spinach, and mix well. Start adding flour and mix until you get a firm dough.

Cut the malfatti: Place the malfatti dough on a clean counter top that has been sprinkled with flour and cut the dough into 8 or 10 pieces. Using both of your hands, roll each piece of dough into a thick and even rope, almost as thick as a hot dog wiener (see pictures). Spread some flour on top of each roll and with a sharp knife, cut it into small cubes (the size of dice).

Optional: With the palm of your hands, round each malfatti to obtain a smoother and less rustic appearance, this will also prevent the spinach from breaking loose of the malfatti.

Cook the malfatti: Fill 3/4 of a large pot with water and boil on high heat, then add salt. With your hands or a spatula, start placing malfatti in the boiling water (due to their delicate consistency and short cooking time, it is recommended to boil them in two or three batches). Once the malfatti start floating (after about 1 or 2 minutes of being in the boiling water) take them out with a slotted spoon. Place them in a large flat container and add oil. Repeat steps until all your malfatti are cooked. then add tomato sauce and/or pesto, and serve. You can also plate and serve as you go, straight from the pot.

Serve malfatti with Pomarola or your choice of olive oil and freshly grated black pepper, pesto and/ or other pasta sauces! Visit GSU’s Pasta Passion page to follow other pasta sauces recipes.

Quick Pomarola:

  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1 diced ripe tomato
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • Chili flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil

In a small pan on medium heat, add onion, garlic, tomato, and bay leaves and sauté for 5 minutes (do not use oil). Add the tomato sauce and salt and cover. Cook for 30′ and remove from heat. With a fork, mash cooked tomato, onion and garlic chunks in the pan (you can also put the sauce in a different container and use a food processor). Finally, add some chili flakes and olive oil and serve on top of your malfatti or any other pasta!

 Buon Appetito!!!