Chefs' Recipes

Rosetta's ricotta and silverbeet malfatti with sage burnt butter

Light as air.

By Richard Purdue
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print
You might also know them as ricotta gnocchi, the light-as-air Italian dumplings made with buffalo ricotta instead of potato. Be warned – they're addictive.


  • 150 gm unsalted butter, chopped
  • 20 gm sage leaves
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, to serve
  • 1 kg silverbeet (about 1 bunch), stalks reserved for another use
  • 730 gm (about 1 bunch) cime di rapa (see note), stalks discarded
  • 320 gm (about 1 bunch) cavolo nero, stalks discarded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, bruised
  • 500 gm buffalo ricotta, well-drained (see note)
  • 50 gm (½ cup) fine dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50 gm (⅓ cup) "00" flour


  • 1
    For malfatti, coarsely chop greens. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and greens and stir occasionally until leaves are soft (15 minutes). Drain, and discard garlic. Allow greens to cool, then squeeze in a tea towel to remove excess liquid. Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped (take care not to purée). You should end up with around 500gm greens.
  • 2
    Combine greens with ricotta, breadcrumbs, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg and flour in a large bowl. Mix until well combined and season well (the mixture should look dry, but will hold its shape when squeezed into a ball). Roll rounded tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until needed. Malfatti will keep refrigerated for 1-2 days.
  • 3
    Cook malfatti in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until they float (3 minutes). Drain well and transfer to a plate.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, heat butter in a large frying pan over high heat until it starts to foam (30 seconds). Add sage and cook until crisp and butter just starts to turn golden (1-2 minutes).
  • 5
    Divide malfatti among warm bowls. Top with burnt butter, sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.


Cime di rapa is available from select greengrocers, or substitute with extra silverbeet. Buffalo ricotta is available from select delicatessens. If it's unavailable, substitute another firm, fresh ricotta.