Sweet ricotta filled pastry

Sweet ricotta-filled pastry are a typical Easter dessert in Sardinia: it has a delicate filling made from fresh ricotta with the fragrance of citrus and saffron, and is perfect to offer to guests at this festive occasion. Known as ‘Pardulas’ - their name in the Campidano region of Sardinia - are small desserts shaped like a six-pointed star, with a crispy, neutral-flavoured base and a tasty and irresistible filling. The composition of the filling may differ depending on the area of Sardinia in which they are prepared, as each town has developed its own recipe, including some savoury ones. You can find a version with the sweet aroma of orange or lemon and, rarer, a version with raisins. The key is that among the ‘Pardulas’, or ‘Casatinas’, those with ricotta cheese are more delicate, and those with other fresh chesses may have a stronger flavour. Easy to make, you must try these exquisite ‘Pardulas’ and experience a blend of flavours, aromas and textures that evoke a wonderful land and its culinary tradition.

Ingredients

  • ricotta cheese 1000 grams
  • sugar 100 grams
  • Italian 00 flour 300 grams white
  • eggs 2 units
  • lard 25 grams
  • saffron A pinch
  • oranges Grated zest of 1 orange
Information
40 minutes Total time
30 minutes Active time
Serves 5 persons
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Preparation

Prepare all the ingredients: ricotta cheese, sugar, flour, eggs, lard, saffron, an orange. Grate the orange zest. Break the eggs, separating the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, egg yolks, orange zest and a pinch of saffron and stir well with a wooden spoon to get a smooth mixture free of lumps. In another bowl (preferably with an electric mixer) combine the flour with the two egg whites, a spoonful of lard and a pinch of salt. You have to get a smooth and homogeneous dough - if it needs it, add a little flour. Roll out the dough into thin sheets. You have to make them quite long. With the help of a glass or equivalent, cut out circles of about 8 cm in diameter. Put a spoonful of the ricotta filling on each dough circle. Pinch the edge at intervals so as to get a raised border, leaving a central area for the filling. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and arrange the pastries. Bake them until the top of the filling is golden brown. Serve dusted with icing sugar or spread with honey.

Tips
You may want to add a brushing of water syrup made with sugar or honey to the freshly-baked ricotta pastries. You can then decorate with coloured sprinkles.
Trivia
There are several ways to fill the pastry shell: in spoonfuls, as suggested in our recipe, or simply use your hands to make the cheese mixture into balls that will fit into the pastry case, to give a more swollen shape to the ricotta pastries.

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