Ricotta Malfatti with Roasted Pepper, Pistachio, and Yogurt Sauce

March 17, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 3 as a main course, 4 to 6 as a side
Author Notes

The malfatti are roughly Mark Bittman's recipe for what he calls ricotta gnocchi. But in typical minimalist style he has you drop dough into the pot of boiling water by the spoonful instead of shaping into neat little ovals with fork indentations. This results in a misshapen dumpling--malfattii. Bittman's recipe is for ricotta gnocchi with a sage and brown butter sauce, which is no doubt delicious. I've made a yogurt based sauce inspired by a yogurt broth I had once at an Armenian-Lebanese restaurant, but with pistachios, sundried tomatoes, and roasted red pepper in the mix. If you prefer a thinner sauce, just add more broth. - clintonhillbilly —clintonhillbilly

Test Kitchen Notes

These malfatti are incredibly easy to make. Blend the flour, eggs and cheeses together, then drop spoonfuls into boiling water. Three minutes later you have delicious cheesy dumplings. The sauce is also very easy to throw together. The combination of sundried tomato and roasted pepper with the yogurt, mint, lemon, garlic and onion is scrumptious and the dash of allspice adds a bit of sweet warmth. —GirlPlusFire

What You'll Need
  • Ricotta Malfatti
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 10 ounces fresh ricotta
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • Pistachio and Roasted Pepper Sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup pistachio meats
  • 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • black pepper and salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. In a large bowl, mix malfatti ingredients until the dough stays together. Add flour if needed.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop in rounded tablespoonfuls of dough one, being careful not to crowd the pan. If making the malfatti as a side, use smaller spoonfuls of dough so you get more dumplings. When the malfatti are done, they rise to the top. Remove them to plates with a slotted spoon.
  3. In a pan, cook garlic and onion in butter until soft. Add garlic, onion, half of the mint, the juice of the lemon, and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and purée. Season to taste. Return the puréed sauce to the pan the onions and garlic were cooked in and briefly heat it before pouring it over the malfatti.
  4. Finely chop remaining mint. Smother malfatti in sauce and garnish with fresh mint to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gretchen1981
  • burkeboys3
  • mboerner
  • clintonhillbilly

Recipe by: clintonhillbilly

public interest attorney

5 Reviews

burkeboys3 July 7, 2011
I agree that this recipe is both delicious and easy. I did not have the red bell pepper on hand so I just omitted it. The end result was wonderful.
clintonhillbilly July 7, 2011
Yay, thanks!
mboerner April 3, 2011
Seems to me the yoghurt sauce totally masks the delicate flavor of the parmesan and ricotta gnocchi. In addition, yoghurt is not an "Italian" flavor, whereas parmesan and ricotta definitely are. The gnocchio and sauce, delicious as they are in their own right, simply do not go together. I am going back to simple sage and butter sauce.
clintonhillbilly April 1, 2011
Girlplusfire, so glad you enjoyed my recipe!
Gretchen1981 March 17, 2011
This is absolutely delicious. I had them for dinner, and now I'm having them for lunch. Just as good the next day!