Sunday, January 24, 2010

Roast Pepper Sauce for Spinach Malfatti

After two weeks of not cooking and one trip to the farmer's market, I've spent pretty much the entire weekend in the kitchen.  I came across the cookbook 400 Sauces on clearance at Borders, and this recipe sounded really good.  And it is.  It reminds me of the ricotta gnocchi I made with red pepper sauce, only the tomatoes in the sauce definitely made it better.  The book says that "malfatti" is Italian for "badly made" since they aren't evenly shaped

Spinach Malfatti
1 1/4 lb baby spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1 scant cup breadcrums
1/2 c flour
2/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
nutmeg, to taste

For roast pepper sauce
2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
14 oz can chopped tomatoes (I used no salt added)
salt and ground pepper to taste

  1. Make the sauce.  Roast the red pepper in the broiler until they blister and blacken.  Cool slightly then peel and chop the flesh.  I chopped the onion and stemmed the spinach while the peppers were roasting, though technically, I think you are supposed to do all the prep work at the beginning.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and 2/3 cup water and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender, the put in a clean pan.
  5. Make the malfatti.  Trim any thick stalks from the spinach, wash well.  Blanch the spinach in boiling water for a minute.  Drain, refresh under cold water and drain again.  Squeeze spinach dry and chop it finely.
  6. Put finely chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, ricotta, eggs and breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Add the spinach and mix well.  Stir in flour and a tsp of salt with half the parmesan.  Season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Roll mixture into 16 small logs and chill slightly (I didn't chill because there was no room in fridge and it was raining outside, but this made it break up a lot more when cooking).
  8. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.  Carefully drop in the malfatti in batches and cook them for 5 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.
  9. To serve, reheat the sauce and divide it among four plates.  Arrange four malfatti on each and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan.  I however, topped it with the sauce.  Maybe when I eat leftovers tonight I'll do it the other way.  I'd take a picture but my camera's battery is dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment