In truth, there are some who simply call them gnocchi! Many names for the same dish: Malfatti is the Siena-based name and it is due to the fact that since they are made by hand, often they have irregular shapes; Gnudi, instead, is the name with which they are called in Florence since they may look like ravioli without dough, thus: naked (gnudi)! The fact that they have so many different names highlights the long history that brought them to the present as a typical Tuscan dish. Their origins are rooted in Etruscan times but they have reached true popularity only in the nineteenth century when Pellegrino Artusi added the recipe to his book titled Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
Famous or not, known with a name rather than another, the only thing we are sure of is that they are a surprisingly delicious dish!
The ingredients needed to prepare them are as follows:
First of all, wash the spinach and cook them for a few minutes in water with salt. Once drained, squeeze the spinach as much as possible and chop them. Add all the remaining ingredients in a bowl, except for the flour, butter and sage, then add also the spinach mixing them to mixture.
Now the fun part: wash your hands well and by taking the mixture in small batches, create irregular little balls and place them in the flour one at a time. Boil them in water with salt and once they pop to the surface they will be ready.
After having drained them, place them in a serving bowl and dress them with melted butter, sage and parmesan. For those who prefer a more coloured version, you can also dress them with good “pomarola”, a simple strained tomato sauce.
Whichever solution you’ll choose, the result will be delicious!