Sunday malfatti

Sunday malfatti

Malfatti (or Gnudi) are delicious and always a success. Here in Val d’Orcia people enjoy them for Sunday lunch. Children love to help make them, rolling them in irregular shapes. This is where the name comes from: mal-fatti means mis-shapen. The Tuscan word Gnudi comes from the italian “Nudi” and they are considered nude because are – in essence – only the filling of the ravioli served at Lent.

  • 1 kg fresh spinach or swiss chard
  • 600gr Casale organic sheep milk ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gr of parmesan cheese
  • nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of organic flour
  • 150 gr of Casale organic raw-milk fresh pecorino cheese
  • 1 jar of Delizie del Casale artichoke spread
  • 1 table spoon of Casale extra virgin organic olive oil
  • salt


  1. Place the ricotta in a colander to let the remaining whey drain out.
  2. While that is happening, bring a pot of water with a little salt in it to a boil. Add the spinach and boil for one or two minutes.
  3. Drain the spinach well, and squeeze out all the extra water against the side of the colander with a fork.
  4. Put the spinach, ricotta, nutmeg, eggs, and parmesan cheese in a blender. Mix.
  5. Sprinkle a dinner plate or platter with the flour. Take a soupspoon (or teaspoon if you prefer them small) of the mix and shape them into balls, then roll them through the flour, as if they were gnocchi. Rest them on the work area. Continue in the same way until you have used up all the mix.
  6. In the meantime put a pot on to boil. When the water is boiling, delicately place the malfatti inside. When they rise to the surface they will be done (n.b. they take very little time). Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in an oven-proof dish which you have previously spread with olive oil.
  7. Lay slices of fresh pecorino cheese and small dollops of artichoke spread over the malfatti and let the cheese melt under the grill of your oven for a few minutes.

Alternatively, you can cook your malfatti in the oven without boiling them first, but be sure to cover them with fresh tomato sauce and sage leaves.