• 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g fresh or frozen spinach (see tip, below)
  • 250g ricotta
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g finely grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp semolina or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • nutmeg, for grating

For the sage butter


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and wilt the spinach, about 2-3 mins. Tip the spinach into a colander and press out any excess liquid using the back of a spoon. Leave to cool completely. Squeeze out any remaining liquid with your hands, then finely chop the spinach.

  • STEP 2

    Tip the chopped spinach into a bowl with the ricotta, breadcrumbs and parmesan. Add the egg and semolina or flour. Season and grate over some nutmeg. Stir to form an evenly combined, sticky mixture.

  • STEP 3

    Put a couple tablespoons of flour on a large tray and shake gently to spread the flour out. Spoon around ½ tbsp of the spinach mixture onto the floured tray and roll into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the spinach mixture, transferring the balls to a second clean baking tray as you go.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the malfatti (you may need to do this in batches) and simmer for 2 mins, or until they float to the surface. Scoop the malfatti out with a slotted spoon and drain well. Transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and keep warm in the oven.

  • STEP 5

    Make the sage butter by melting the butter in a small pan. Add the sage leaves and fry gently, stirring often until crisp. Pour the sage butter over the malfatti and top with more grated cheese.



Frozen spinach works well in this recipe, but make sure to defrost it first. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible before combining the spinach with the other ingredients – there is no need to wilt it first.


Malfatti can also be served with a rich tomato sauce instead of sage butter.

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4 out of 5.4 ratings