Wild garlic Malfatti

Wild Garlic Malfatti

The other day I stumbled over something that looked like gnocchi. I have been thinking about making gnocchi for quite some time but somehow not got around to it. It turned out I was looking at somethign called Malfatti. An Italian dumpling with ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese. These dumplings seems to be served with a tomato sauce and I knew I had to make some.


In the last few days winter truly arrived, a storm, dubbed “The Beast from the East” swept in with icy winds and snow. Everyone kept an eye on the news that was full of weather warnings, stay at home, don’t get on any public transport, some even went out to panic buy food. Well, we woke up with the thinnest dusting and well, that was it in our corner of the land.

This did mean that the roads were clear and with the dogs in the back of the car we headed for the woods, always nicer when the winds are bitter cold. We came across a whole patch of beautiful snow drops, braving the cold.


snow drops


They were so pentiful and nestled inbetween them was wild garlic! Wild garlic, also called ramps is a beautiful leaf that has an amazing flavor of garlic. The season is very short and this is a real treat. I love it in pesto but it can be used in anything where you use spinach.


I used a Malfatti recipe from Great Italian Chefs as a base but as I was looking in my cupboard for the pasta flour and semolina my eye caught a gluten free white bread flour. I thought I would use this and I replaced the semolina with medium coarse corn flour, it has a very similar texture to semolina. I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and I did the Malfatti with her in mind.


The Malfatti is easy to make you just need to drain the ricotta cheese the day before.


Wild Garlic Malfatti – Glutenfree

preparation time 24 hours + 20 minutes 

cooking time about 5 -7 minutes 

serves 3


  • 250 gr or 8.8 oz Ricotta Cheese, drained
  • 250 gr or 8.8 oz Wild Garlic, steamed just wilted, cooled and coarsly chopped
  • 50 gr or 1.7 oz Glute free white breadflour
  • 50 gr or 1.7 oz Corn flour, medium coarse
  • 1 egg
  • 70 gr or 2.5 oz grated Parmesan Cheese
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and bring them together. Don’t over work it, make sure it is just mixed.


Malfatti mix


Roll the mixture in to balls and place on top of some corn meal to make sure they won’t stick.


Wild Garlic Malfatti to be cooked


Keep the Malfatti in the fridge and bring them out when you are ready. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and simmer the Malfatti, it is ready when they rise to the surface.


I didn’t make the tomato sauce in the recipe from the Great Italian Chefs but did my own go to tomato sauce. I always make this when I need something quick and tasty. This is a great base for so many dishes.


Quick tomato sauce 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 12 minutes + blending 

serves 2


  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, use a good brand
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce or a chopped chilli
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • salt to taste

Place all of the ingredients in the pan and bring to a boil. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add salt to taste.

After an additional 7 minutes place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.


Keep the tomato sauce warm whilst simmering the Malfatti, they take 5-7 minutes and are done when coming up to the surface. I did some wild garlic oil to go with the dish.


wild garlic malfatti and tomato sauce

Wild Garlic Malfatti


The Malfatti looks the same uncooked and cooked but they change in texture, they firm up as they cook.


Wild garlic Malfatti


They were so easy to make. I can’t wait to make them again and start experimenting with flavours. The wild garlic was delicious and the slight chilli heat from the tomato sauce went so well with the ricotta and the parmesan cheese in the Malfatti. I love to dicover dishes I have never seen before!


I am bringing my new found Malfatti to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, no Friday is the same without it!










36 Responses to “Wild garlic Malfatti”
  1. I can’t believe these are so easy to make Petra and so veggie friendly too! Is the cornflour essential? Could I use another flour like chickpea?

    • petra08 says:

      hi Laura
      They are super easy! I am sure chickpea flour would work. I was tempted by almond flour but as it was the first time I didn’t want to go too out there, maybe next time! I think crushed nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts would also be nice and add a little texture. I hope you give them a go 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

  2. mistimaan says:

    Looks good

  3. Monika says:

    These look really gorgeous and full of flavour:) Happy FF

    • petra08 says:

      hi Monika
      Thank you! They were really good. I had a few left over that I used in a hash for lunch the next day and they were still nice 🙂
      Happy FF

  4. They sound great, I’ll have to save this!
    We are fully snowed in today 😦 I’ve had enough of this now!

  5. These sound great! Hopefully I can find some ramps this spring. I’ll likely give it a shot with chickpea flour.

    • petra08 says:

      Spinach works as well, as this is the classic. Next time I will add a little bit more chilli to the mixture for flavor. I am sure chick pea flour would be delicious, they are so easy to make 🙂

  6. stkfoodspune says:

    I don’t like garlic. It has very strong flavor, how is the taste of Wild garlic Malfatti recipe. is it good or not!

    • petra08 says:

      Thank you for stopping by!
      If you don’t like garlic I would suggest spinach or perhaps watercress, just wilted for flavor. The Malfatti is a great base for stronger flavors, or you could try it with spices instead as well 🙂

  7. Guess what?! We’re buried under…oh I don’t know…a lot of snow, 8 inches maybe. We got dismissed early, husband worked from home, etc. All schools will probably be closed tomorrow or open late. Is this weather insane or what?!

    The Malfatti sounds terrific! I’ve made something very similar, but it was called gnudi. And how lucky to find ramps! That’s the one thing I would like to go foraging for if someone would tell me where to find it! I bought some before, $5 for a mesley small bunch! You should plant some in your backyard 😄

    • petra08 says:

      hi Angie
      The weather has been crazy, after last weeks super cold weather I got completely soaked in rain walking the dogs instead, but it is warmer so fingers crossed.
      I have eaten gnudi but never made it myself, I have to give it a go! I had never heard of Malfatti before and they were so easy to make.
      Next time I will add more spices, it is a perfect base for stronger flavors. I love ramps! This is the first year in a few I found some, much thanks to a very kind friend who shared his secret spot! A friend of mine has loads in her garden so I will ask if I can have some plants, they are so pretty and also a sign of spring! 🙂

  8. Btw, Petra, are you not on Pinterest?

  9. Sandhya says:

    I have not had Malfati or have I assumed it was gnocchi? This recipe is awesome. I am going to try making these.
    The beast has created havoc in the east, Petra. We had no electricity, no phones, had to dig ourselves out to get out of the house as the plough guys plough had problems with the heavy, wet snow.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Sandhya
      I am glad you like it! I had never heard of them before and they worked just as well the next day when I pan fried them in a hash.
      We didn’t even get snow here but no public transport and no use even trying to get in the car so pretty stationary for a couple of days! I hope everything has returned to normal for you guys now! 🙂

  10. Sandhya says:

    Yes things are up and running again for us but many of my friends still don’t have electricity.So I have invited them to stay with us.
    Thanks so much for asking.
    Yum…pan frying the malfatti sounds yummy!

  11. Lizet Flores de Bowen says:

    That sounds delicious. I’ve never seen wild garlic before. I’m sure it’s a special treat. I’m saving your recipe to try it soon. Yummy!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Lizet
      Thank you for stopping by! if you can’t find wild garlic you can replac e it with garlic and leek, or just use spinach and a little added crushed garlic but it is delicious 🙂

  12. I’ve seen recipes for dumplings like this a few times, but never made them. I really need to try them after seeing yours!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Kat
      I never realised they are so easy to make, I hope you give them a go. They are a great base for your favorite flavors as well. 🙂

  13. ragnarsbhut says:

    Petra08, aside from what you mention in this recipe related to the garlic, do you ever like to add more?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] I have cooked a more traditional Malfatti before using wild garlic, you can find the recpie here. […]

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