The name malfatti literally means "badly made". Or "misshapen". The latter translation better captures the rustic full-flavoured intensity of the dish - like a bulbous, lumpy, overripe tomato still hanging on the vine in late summer. There's an earthiness to the silverbeet, a sweet, intense herbaceousness to the basil, a creaminess from the ricotta, a sharpness from the sauce - heaps of seasonal goodness wrapped up and ready to burst in one dish. The very Italian flavours here would be nicely offset by a young, vibrant Italian-style red wine, and while a bouncy dolcetto, a succulent barbera or a more savoury sangiovese would be good, the slightly more tannic grip, lifted perfume and tart acidity of a nebbiolo is even better. Traditionally, many winemakers have taken nebbiolo very seriously indeed, producing a stern red wine from it - a mouth-coating monster that needs many years in barrel and bottle to soften before approaching maturity (and then needs to be paired with slow-braised meat dishes for best effect). But some smarter grape-treaders are now taking their neb and turning it into much more approachable wines - rosés, lightly wooded and less extracted reds. These are the styles that would match this dish well.
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