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Sea Beat, Wild Garlic and Ricotta Malfatti

"Malfatti" means misshapen as malfatti are made of the filling for ravioli, but instead of being encased in pasta dough, they are boiled like gnocchi. So don’t worry if they end up not perfectly round.   


  • 500g sea beat or spinach 
  • 125g wild garlic leaves 
  • 100g ricotta 
  • 20g parmesan, grated 
  • 1 ½ tbsps plain flour 
  • 20g butter, softened 
  • pinch of nutmeg 
  • pinch chilli flakes 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten   

Lemon Thyme Cream

  • 1 tsp butter 
  • 1 shallot, finely diced 
  • zest of 1/2 lemon 
  • 75ml white wine 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 140ml single cream 
  • 3 sprigs thyme 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 


  1. Wash the spinach and wild garlic leaves and then place them in a large saucepan, over a low heat let the spinach wilt, there will be enough water in the spinach to cook it sufficiently. 
  2. Drain the spinach and then squeeze all the water out. It is essential that the spinach is as dry as possible otherwise the malfatti will fall apart. 
  3. Chop the spinach and wild garlic  and combine it with the ricotta, parmesan, flour, butter, nutmeg and chilli flakes and season. 
  4. Taste for seasoning and then mix in the egg. 
  5. Leave the mix to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
  6. Make the mix into about 16 walnut sized balls. 
  7. Very lightly dust in flour, to stop them sticking together. 
  8. Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer and then carefully drop the malfatti into the water about 8 at a time.  Simmer gently for 8 minutes. 
  9. Take them out with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a buttered dish, whilst you cook the others. 

To make the sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan heat the butter with the shallot, thyme and lemon zest and fry until the shallots soften and start to colour.  
  2. Add the white wine and lemon juice and simmer gently to reduce by half.  
  3. Stir in the cream and add salt and lots of black pepper. 

To serve:

  1. Pour a little of the lemon thyme cream around the malfatti.
  2. Top with fresh thyme leaves and parmesan shavings if you want. 
  3. Serve at once.

Wild Garlic