The naked ravioli – Malfatti “gratinés” in a spicy tomato sauce
I ravioli nudi – Malfatti gratinati con salsina di pomodoro
After this Thanksgiving celebration, it’s good to go back to a healthier kind of cuisine. The turkey ended up so dry, due to a guest arriving over an hour late, and my new oven with circular heat that cooks three times faster than traditional oven. I think I am so done with the turkey anyway. Arriving 20 minutes late to a sit down dinner when food is served is fine, but one hour is somehow rude. Don’t you think? everyone has its “acceptable” time and for me 20 minutes is the limit. An unforeseen circumstance might also happen but that’s not something that happens on a regular basis.
Malfatti or Gnudi is a traditional Tuscan dish…I make them often but never think of posting them. It’s basically ravioli without dough called “gnudi” in Tuscan meaning “naked” or also “malfatti” meaning “not well made”, they’re either served with a gorgonzola sauce, a béchamel or tomato sauce and baked in the oven. I like it with a light and spicy tomato sauce, then you can just play around with them and see what you prefer. There is no meat just vegetables and cheese, so it’s quite a light dish.
I like traditional and rustic dishes like this one, because they’re peasant food and you cannot find them in the stores nor in restaurants, so it’s basically recipes you find only at people’s houses. Tuscan and Marchigiana cuisine are quite similar with slight variations since they’re two regions in Central Italy. Growing up on Marchigiana cuisine, Tuscan cuisine is not completely foreign to me. Even after living half of her life in France, my mom still cooks traditional Marchigiana cuisine and barely makes French food. She would make quiches or choucroute once in her while but that’s it. I guess no matter where you move, and for how long, you are still attached to what you are used to eating growing up.
I did not put the flour quantity, you need to add enough so that the spinach/ricotta mixture is no longer soft but still a little sticky. If you put too much flour, the ravioli will get heavy and chewy. You just have to play with the flour. It took me a few times before making them just right.
Ingredients about 20 ravioli
For the ravioli
- 1/2 lb ricotta
- about 1/2 lb fresh spinach
- 6 tbs parmigiano reggiano, grated (+ 2 for sprinkling on top)
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper
For tomato sauce
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seedless, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 basil leaves
- chili powder
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the sauce
Heat olive oil in a pot, add garlic, stir to get the flavor out, add basil, tomatoes, chili pepper, salt and pepper, and cook until the tomato is cooked for about 15 minutes.
For the ravioli
Cook spinach in a large pot of boiling and salted water for about 5-10 minutes, depending if you use baby spinach or regular ones. Drain, let them cool and remove excess water by squeezing with your hands. Chop them.
In a large mixing bowl, mix spinach, ricotta, parmesan, eggs, flour salt and pepper. At this point, you need to play with the flour, try getting a soft mixture not too sticky, but not too thick. It still needs to stick to your fingers a little bit.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Start making the gnudi. Add about 1 cup of flour to a plate, and start forming small balls with spinach/ricotta mixture the size of a big walnut. Coat them well with flour.
When water is boiling carefully, add gnudi to the water, it’s better to cook about 10 at one time, so they have enough water and space too cook. When gnudi come out at the surface, remove them, and drain. Proceed the same way for the second batch.
Place in a oven tray and pour some sauce on top, sprinkle with parmigiano and olive oil, then cook in a pre-heated oven at 375F for about 20 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Serve hot.
This entry was posted by silvia on November 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm, and is filed under Pasta. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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Mmm! Pasta without the carbs … this is genius. I love peasant food too (but then I’m broke and a bit of a peasant myself!)
I’m hungry now! Looks delicious! The picture is great too ) I love rustic foods too.
You are so right, 1 hour late is too much. I understand you. I love simple foods like this one.
God I love it !
these look great, i can’t believe i’ve never made them before. i’m cooking cardoons tomorrow, have you ever cooked them.
I like it too much…
wow are elegant and pretty these are…would love to being eating this for breafast right now lol delish!
I like this!
A beautiful vegetarian meal.
Yes I made those a couple of weeks ago, and you commented on them! they’re one of my fav vegetable!
For breakfast? you have a salty tooth in the morning!
Tiens Malek, ca fait plaisir de te voir sur mon blog!
Thanks, yes lately I have been in the mood for basic rustic Italian food – I’m glad to know you think like me in terms of timing
Thanks Tracey! yes peasant food is great once in a while!
Beautiful! So fresh and definitely something different after all the turkeyday foods. I like that it’s a non-pasta alternative. I will have to give this a try.
I just ate these for the first time a month or so ago and loved them! Have saved this to try out in the new year.
Amazing. I just saw a recipe in a Claudia Roden that was described as the inside of a ravioli without the pasta and wrote it down as a recipe to rework and change the flavors a bit. What timing. How funny. So, needless to say this sounds delicious to me!
that’s so neat – i’ve never seen naked ravioli. still looks scrumptious!
These look wonderful. I am sure they taste yummy too. Nice photo.
Oooo… the word ‘naked’ sounds so inviting! haha…. I think it looks absolutely attractive and wanted to make a bite on it asap. =P Talking about time management… I always adjust my watch 10 mins forward than the normal time. So, confirm never late to any apointments or meetings! Yeah, one hour late is too much! But guests are guests…. so, what to do!
Thanks Kristy! yes you’re right, guests are guests, so not much you can do. I am like you make sure I am on time, so I end up being early!
Ahah the poor ravioli lost its dress in the process!
@Amber @ Native Food and Wine
You should try them, they’re unusual and delicious
Did you eat them in a restaurant? I never seen them served in restaurants so far, but probably because I don’t go to Italian restaurants…
Great recipe, goes to my favourites I love how you served the ravioli with that sauce – the colours are so vibrant! Thank you for posting and congratulations on making the Top9 at Foodbuzz!
I have been searching for this recipe ever since I saw an episode on Dolce Vita. You have made my day!!
Oh this is so creative and looks absolutely delicious!
oh my, I missed this one last week but I am so happy to see it now – marvelous …and congrats on top 9 over on Foodbuzz – great recipe…
Those look incredible! I am putting this on my “need to make soon” list immediately.
Congrats on making the top 9 at #1!! They look delicious! How have you been? How was your holiday?
I just happened upon this site. I am going to make this tomorrow for dinner. This sounds absolutely yummy. I wish I could have many more of your recipes, I bet you are a great cook. I will be back to visit for sure.
We made these tonight. They were really great, but I think it would have been helpful to have a little guidance about how much flour to mix in, we added in more about half way through and they started turning out much better!! Also, the red and green and white… so Christmasy!
@erin@ doubled up
I’m sorry about the flour, I usually go by texture, and add it gradually. Next time I will use a spoon and get a more accurate quantity. It tends to be sticky because of the moisture in ricotta, so you just want to add enough so the ravioli does not disintegrate when dropped in water, and not too much so it doesn’t get too heavy and chewey. Thanks for feedback!
This looks so inviting and luscious! Maybe I’ll be the only one saying luscious for a veggie meal … but it does look it. Gonna try it tonight!
Fantastic idea! Something to make over the weekend! Great post.
These look great…simple…and delicious. Kind of a funky elegance to the little guys. Can’t wait to give them a trial run. Very nice photos BTW!
Congrats on coming up with an unusual Italian dish.. that does not include pasta… definitely going to put it on the menu for the ‘Soiree italienne’ its always difficult coming up with unique ideas
These are fantastic! I thought I’d step outside my comfort zone and try making something new that I’ve never made (or tasted) before, and the results were delicious! This is definitely going to become one of my go-to company recipes and something I’ll probably make for the hubby and I once a month! Thanks so much for posting (so glad I stumbled on your pic)! (oh, I don’t know if this helps anyone at all — or if it compares to the amount you use — but I added 8 tblsp or 120 ml or about a 1/2 cup of flour and they seemed (to me) to be just right!)
Thanks so much for feedback! I am so glad you liked them and that they turned out great. Thanks again.
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