Eating Like a Local in Napa: Malfatti

It wasn’t until this year that I finally figured out– you poor suckers who didn’t grow up in Napa don’t know what malfatti are.

What are malfatti? Freakin’ awesome, that’s what they are.

Okay, okay. What they are, are ravioli guts. The filling for ravioli, rolled into balls and boiled, then doused in sauce.

It used to be you got them at The Depot, , where they were invented. Nowadays, though, you get them at liquor stores.

No, I’m not joking.

You can either go to Lawler’s Liquor on Jefferson, or you can do like my family does (and don’t believe that Chowhound reviewer, she’s wacky in the head) and get the original Depot recipe from Clemente’s at Val’s Liquors.

We ordered ahead, malfatti and ravioli and spaghetti (and soup, and bread, and soda) for Easter. Which involved the traditional trek down the mountain a day ahead to drop off our own containers to be filled with tasty goodness.

And then there was the traditional Sisterly Argument Over Who Was Eating Too Many Malfatti. My sister’s vegetarian, so she claimed the whole tray as hers. I was in charge of food prep for Easter dinner, however, and had to ensure they were cooked enough.

If you’re not getting to Napa any time soon, I found this recipe on the Interwebs for you to try out. For a true malfatti experience, though, I do not recommend using jarred sauce. This is the kind of thing that needs old-fashioned, twelve hour simmer sauce.

(Additionally, I was also in charge of the ham this year. I did 1c brown sugar, 1/4c pineapple juice and 1/4c flat cola, simmered on the stove for an hour and cooled for two hours before glazing the ham. Everyone kept telling me how awesome it was.)

This is part of a series of posts I wrote about my recent trip to the ol’ family homestead in Napa. Here’s the complete list so far:

+ Gott’s Roadside Refresher
+ Norman Rose Tavern
+ Frida’s Mexican Grill
+ Malfatti
+ Redd Restaurant

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