Spinach and Ricotta Malfatti

Spinach and Ricotta Malfatti, covered in tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese, shot from above. This meal is on a black and white patterned plate and garnished with a sprig of herb
Photo: Romina Barritta de Defranchi, DTR

If you end up doing noodles very often, either because kids keeps asking them or because of practicality, this is a homemade pasta that does not require kneading and that is a great way to incorporate leafy greens in the diet of children and adults. Malfatti, or “badly made,” are these ball-shaped gnocchi, a recipe of my family (Italian, of course). Light and delicious, for any dinner of the week Spinach and Ricotta Malfatti - (well, actually my daughter Felicitas ate them for a snack!).

Spinach and Ricotta Malfatti

Serves 4 (16 malfatti)


  • 1 cup cooked and well drained spinach
  • 2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour


  1. Chop spinach finely. Place in a large bowl and add ricotta, egg, grated cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Mix well and add flour, until getting a doughy consistency.
  3. With moistened hands take portions of the mixture to make balls of about 2 centimeters in diameter and roll on a floured surface.
  4. Cook in a large pot with boiling water for about 3 minutes or until they rise to the surface.
  5. Strain and serve with tomato sauce and extra grated cheese if desired.
Romina Barritta on FacebookRomina Barritta on LinkedinRomina Barritta on Twitter
Romina Barritta
Romina Barritta, DTR, is a dietitian based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She runs GlobalDietitians.com, a networking site for food and nutrition professionals from around the world. She is Board member of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND). Follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.