Nonna Maria’s Malfatti

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Malfatti is a traditional dish of the Brescia region. This recipe was given to us by Daniela Tabellini, who, with her brother Alberto, owns the MATCH pewter workshop.

Malfatti literally means “poorly made” in Italian, and while the shape may be irregular, there’s nothing poor about the taste. Tender and savory dumplings, they are like a more flavorful gnocchi, with delicious rustic charm. This dish quickly became a MATCH family favorite! Serve it with a red wine such as Barbera D’Asti or your favorite Chianti Classico.


  • 3 lbs Swiss chard, rinsed
  • 3 lbs fresh spinach, rinsed (or 6 lbs fresh spinach, if chard is not available)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 oz Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 7 oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Flour for dusting
  • Butter
  • Fresh sage (optional)
  1. Cook spinach and chard (or just spinach) in boiling water for 5 min., or microwave bagged spinach for 3 min. Drain, and when cooled, squeeze well to eliminate as much water as possible.
  2. Fine-chop the cooked greens (chop by hand; do not use a food processor). Place chopped greens in a large bowl and add beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, breadcrumbs and fine-chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Carefully mix the ingredients until well-blended.
  3. With your hands, or using 2 teaspoons, make small ovals, approx. 2" long.
  4. When ready, lightly flour the malfatti, and place them in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  5. As soon as the malfatti float to the surface of the boiling water, remove them carefully with a straining spoon, and place on a tray or a platter.
  6. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
  7. Brown 8 tbs butter (1 stick) over low flame, and pour over the malfatti right before serving . If you’d like brown the butter with a few leaves of fresh sage. Add additional parmesan, if desired, and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!