Malfatti with tuna, tomato sauce and pesto
Malfatti are gnocchi-like dumplings made from spinach, ricotta and parmesan. Served here with seared tuna and two sauces for an impressive meal that’s easier than it looks.
For the malfatti
For the tomato sauce
For the pesto
Steam the spinach for 3 minutes, place in a colander and thoroughly drain any excess water. Chop the spinach very roughly.
Mix the flour and ricotta in a large bowl until it resembles lumpy, moist breadcrumbs. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg and 150g/5½oz of the Parmesan. Add a good pinch of salt, a decent twist of pepper, the nutmeg and drained spinach and stir to combine everything thoroughly. Form into balls.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Drop in the malfatti, bring back to the boil and then simmer for about 3 minutes. The malfatti will float to the surface when they are ready. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan and sweat the shallots and garlic. Add the tomatoes and basil stalks and smash up with the basil stalks. Keep cooking until the sauce thickens. Use a stick blender to blitz to a purée.
Put all the pesto ingredients in a pestle and mortar or small food processer and crush to a paste. Keep adding extra virgin olive oil until you have a pesto consistency.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Season the tuna sear on both sides, for a minute. Transfer to a board to rest.
To serve, spoon some tomato sauce onto a plate, spoon over some pesto, add some malfatti and break over the tuna. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve.