Malfatti (Chard Dumplings)

photoDon’t be mislead by the name of these little ricotta dumplings that might be deceiving in looks but make up for it in taste. The chard (or spinach), ricotta and parmiggiano make for a great combination. As you mix the dough, keep in mind that the less flour you have, the softer the dumplings will be, but you will need enough for them to hold up during the simmering. Start with less flour and add more if needed.

1 bunch of chard, stems removed and cut into 1” strips, or 1 to 1/2 lb fresh spinach
3/4 cup ricotta
1 cup freshly grated parmiggiano cheese
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp butter
Up to 2 cups all purpose flour (or a glutenfree flour mix), but start with less
1 small yellow onion
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring chard stems to boil in about 2” of water. Add chard leaves, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes or until stems are wilted. Let cool, drain well and mince or puree with hand-mixer.
Finely chop onion and sautee in a sauteeing pan with 1 Tbsp butter until translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Mix in spinach and let cool.
Beat ricotta creamy, add cooled spinach, half of the parmiggiano cheese, eggs, egg yolk, and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Add in flour bit by bit and mix well.
Boil plenty of water in a large pot. Scoop out a test dumpling using two spoons and carefully drop it into boiling water. Make sure it doesn’t fall apart, which would mean that it requires more flour. Be gentle, though, as you don’t want the dumplings to get too dense.
Once you are satisfied with the resistance of the dough, scoop the rest of dumplings into the boiling water, reduce heat and let simmer until they swim to the surface. You might want to check if some are stuck to the bottom and carefully set those dumplings free.
In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon, let water drip off and carefully transfer them into an oven-proof dish.
Sprinkle with the rest of the parmiggiano cheese, dot with the remaining butter and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

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