Ingredients (2 servings):

For the malfatti:

  • 160g spinach leaves (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 1 egg
  • 30g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 100g ricotta
  • 4 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 100 ml fresh vegetable broth
  • 400g canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence, dried
  • 1 tsp tarragon, dried
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15g fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, freshly ground

For garnish:

  • 1 small onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 30g hazelnut, whole
  • 20g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sage, dried
  • Olive oil
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • 10g parsley, roughly chopped
  1. First prepare the malfatti. If using fresh spinach leaves, heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add spinach and toss to combine, stirring occasionally. Drain spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as possible with your hands.
  2. In a bowl, combine egg, Parmesan cheese and ricotta with spinach leaves and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add wheat flour and mix with a fork. If the dough is too liquid, add some more flour.
  3. In a small pan, toast the hazelnut kernels without oil until golden brown. They should have partial black spots on the shell. Rub nuts between hands with a kitchen towel or paper towel so that the shell comes off. Coarsely chop hazelnuts and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil with the onion rings over high heat. Add salt and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until they turn a light brown color. Set aside.
  5. In a large pot (volume about 3l), bring water to a boil while preparing the tomato sauce. Once the water boils, add salt.
  6. For the tomato sauce, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan (you can use the pan with the onion rings without wiping out) over high heat. Sauté garlic and cocktail tomatoes, stirring constantly, until tomatoes begin to soften. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and a good pinch of pepper.
  7. Add 1 tbsp butter, oregano, thyme, herbs de provence, tarragon and chili flakes, reduce heat slightly and sauté for another minute. Add tomato paste, mix briefly and sauté. Deglaze with vegetable broth and canned tomatoes. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil again with lid closed.
  8. Simmer at medium temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Remove lid, add fresh parsley and simmer for another 3-5 minutes until sauce has thickened a bit. While the sauce is simmering, you can now prepare the malfatti. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
  9. Form malfatti with two large spoons and place in boiling salted water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the malfatti float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool slightly.
  10. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the malfatti to the pan, season with salt and a good pinch of pepper, and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  11. While the malfatti are frying, heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil with ginger slices in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the ginger has taken on a little color, add the sage and let fry for a few more minutes until the ginger begins to crisp.
  12. Pour the tomato sauce into a deep bowl. Carefully place the malfatti on top and garnish with onion mixture. Lastly, sprinkle with fresh parsley, toasted hazelnut seeds and garnish with the crunchy ginger oil. Serve immediately.