Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Malfatti, A Delicious Mistake

Labor of Love

From Macaroni Kid Eats

Malfatti, A Delicious Mistake
By: Allison Rebenack

Requests from readers for simple and delicious vegetarian recipes brought me back to my childhood. I have fond memories of sneaking malfatti off of cookie sheets from my Grandmother's refrigerator. A couple times of year, she would make large batches of this Italian dish when all of the family was visiting.
Malfatti roughly translates to "poorly made" or "mistake" in Italian. However, the name in no way reflects the taste or the final outcome of this dish. The primary ingredients are ricotta and spinach. There are many variations of the recipe and I am certain region and time contribute to the different versions of malfatti.
I have a copy of my grandmother's recipe but on the day I set out to the store to collect my ingredients, I could not find my coveted recipe box. A week-long frantic search finally uncovered my recipe box but I already reached out to someone I knew would have a superb recipe for malfatti.  Chef and owner of Villa Locale in Las Vegas, Joe Muscaglione, stepped up and did not disappoint with a family recipe he claims is as old as ricotta itself.
Eager to taste this old world dish, I prepared a batch of malfatti one morning for that evening's dinner.  The result? Perfection - the rustic and flavorful ricotta dumplings speckled with green spinach were devoured by my family.  Topped with a light tomato sauce, malfatti is a simple vegetarian dish that all Macaronis will enjoy.
2 cups fresh ricotta, strained overnight
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach - thawed and drained
2 eggs
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Strain the ricotta overnight in refrigerator. Coffee filters in a colander can be used for if cheesecloth is unavailable. The final mixture should be as dry as possible. This may be why some recipes include breadcrumbs. Combine strained ricotta, spinach the rest of the ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Kids will be happy to help with this part!
The mixture should be combined thoroughly but not over worked.  Shape into meatball sized dumplings and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper.  Place pan in the refrigerator and allow to sit a few hours. The longer they sit, the better they are. Bring a large pot with water to just under a boil, add a couple of pinches of salt. Gently drop the malfatti into the water to cook. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon when they float to the surface. Once strained, serve hot topped with a light tomato sauce.
Although they require advance planning, malfatti are easy to make and offer up an alternative to the basic pasta and sauce.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Birding 2-19- 2011 : Mountain Falls, Pahrump: (Nye County)

Today February 19, 2011, I birded at places near my home in Mountain Falls. I took pictures of what I believe are Violet Green Swallows, which I know is unusual. To be sure they are not Tree Swallows, I am bringing my media over to Richard and we are going to look at them together. Today I saw swallows with white underbelly, white flanks, very rapid flight.

Birds seen today.
Dark-eyed Junco's (Oregon) (4)
American Wigeons
Green-winged Teal's
Common Merganser (pictures taken)
Ruddy Duck
American Coots
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Say's Phoebe
Common Raven
Swallows (Tree or Violet Green)
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird's
Western Meadowlark
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch

Submitted by
Darlene Feener
Pahrump, Nevada

Monday, February 14, 2011

Birding 2-13- 2011 : Willow Creek: Pahrump: (Nye County)

February 13, 2011 turned out to be a wonderful birding morning.  Full of excitement. The tree's were full of birds this morning. There were calling Red-winged Blackbirds and Crow's waking everyone up.But the most beautiful sound this morning was the clear rich warble of the Western Meadowlark. I started out with the idea of wanting to get a picture of every bird I saw today. The first bird was a White-breasted Nuthatch, and he was way too quick for me with his flying from tree to tree. I did get other pictures as I relaxed with the camera, and found a new excitement at being able to get pictures of birds in flight.

I arrived at 10a.m. at Richard and Carol Cantino's. The Hooded Warbler had just come in and was back out again in the middle of the trees. Richard, had beautiful pictures he had taken this morning of Burrowing Owls. We spent time preparing for the 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count through Cornell.

Richard subscribed to Birds of North America Online and we spent time studying the Red-tailed Hawks. What beautiful pictures! This is definitely something every birder should look at. The Great Backyard Bird Count is Friday February 18 through Monday February 21. I encourage everyone to get out and count the bird's It's great to have birding friends. Carol, reminded me today as she was looking at the male House Sparrow and female House Sparrow how exciting and wonderful it is to be in the presence of a
new birder as we went through the descriptions of what to look for in identifying these birds. I also learned that I need to brush up on my identification skills of Red-tailed Hawks.

Birds seen today on Willow Creek:

Canada Warbler
American Wigeon's
Northern Shoveler's
Cooper's Hawk's (2)
Red-shouldered Hawk (1)
American Kestrel's (2)
Gambel's Quail
American Coot's
Mourning Dove's
Eurasian Collared Dove's
Rock Dove's
Anna's Hummingbird
Ladder-backed Woodpecker's (2)a male and a female
Northern Flicker's (3)
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Common Raven
American Crow's
Horned Lark (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
European Starling (1)
Cedar Waxwings (13)
Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (1)
Hooded Warbler (1) male
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco's (Slate-colored) and (Oregon)
Western Meadowlark's
Red-winged Blackbird's
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
House Sparrow's

Submitted by
Darlene Feener
Pahrump, Nevada

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Villa Locale Menu Pics

Pictures of new menu items from southern Nevada's first and only seed to table restaurant -

Villa Locale, Pahrump, Nevada

Visit "menu" for more Pictures


Villa Locale Sampler

Eating Las Vegas | Still Life with Bet The Farm Fruit:

Monday, February 07, 2011

Birding: Willow Creek: Pahrump

Birds seen February 6, 2011

Canada Goose (larger ones and smaller ones together) (no Cackling Goose)
Mallard Northern Pintail (female)
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Pied billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk (sitting on the roof of a house checking out its surroundings)
Red-shouldered Hawk
Bald Eagle (immature)
American Kestrel
Gambel's Quail
American Coot
Rock Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (very active)
Northern Flicker (red shafted)
Say's Phoebe
Horned Lark
American Crow
Northern Mockingbird
Western Bluebird Cedar
Waxwing (came in a group landing in tree near where I was sitting)
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Hooded Warbler (male)
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Sparrow
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch

Submitted by Darlene Feener Pahrump, Nevad