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malfatti

'badly made' dumplings

Malfatti are a tradition in northwest Italy, and in recent years they have become popular everywhere, especially in California. Unlike their tidy cousin, gnocchi, malfatti are a perhaps bit rough looking, but hardly enough to merit their name. Instead of potatoes, they're made with breadcrumbs, ricotta, parmesan, eggs, and spinach or chard, and topped with brown butter and sage. In Tuscany, they are also called gnudi.

Occasionally, you may still hear actual ravioli or tortelli with this filling called malfatti.

Malfattini, on the other hand, are either tiny misshapen pasta lumps or tiny plain pasta for soup, otherwise known as pasta grattata (grated pasta).

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls