Friday, 20 November 2015

Sicilian cassatelle

45 minutes to prepare Serves 12

Poor man's gold is fried food


Sicilian cuisine consists of a lot of savory delicacies, but the desserts are not less valuable. Therefore, we decided to give you today the recipe of a typical Sicilian sweet: Cassatelle.
When you hear the word Cassatella, you may be tempted to associate it to the flavor of the Sicilian Cassata. Mistake! Cassatelle have nothing to do with the most popular Cassata cake if not - at times - the cheese filling.

Typical of Trapani (where my mother was born), but spread throughout the island with different names and different fillings, Cassatelle are crunchy crusts made of pastry which encase ricotta and chocolate chips.
They are usually eaten in winter and spring, which is when the fresh local ricotta cheese is at its best. It is a poor man’s dish, which means it won’t cost you much to make and it is made with local ingredients.
They are best eaten hot, when the chocolate melts and the ricotta is creamy and velvety.
Let me know if you could have only one. I couldn’t!

Here are ingredients for a 12 pastries:


For the pastry

150 g durum wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons EVO oil
3 tablespoons Marsala red wine
2 g salt
4 g vanilla baking powder

For the stuffing

250 g sheep milk ricotta cheese
60 g sugar
15 g  dark chocolate chips
1/8 lemon zest
1 egg white

For frying

500 ml vegetable oil

For the garnish

powdered sugar

  1. Drain ricotta cheese in a colander and store it in the refrigerator. When it is dry, sift it
  2. Start preparing the pastry: place the flour in a bowl. Add sugar, baking powder, a pinch of salt and knead it quickly
  3. Pour in EVO oil and Marsala red wine, then mix again
  4. Form a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for half an hour
  5. Meanwhile, move on to the filling preparation: place ricotta cheese in a bowl, together with sugar, chocolate chips and lemon zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon
  6. Beat the egg white until stiff
  7. Roll out the pastry thin and even into a flattened rectangular-shape, about 1 mm thick
  8. Cut out discs of approximately 12 cm in diameter. Put 1 tablespoon of ricotta filling in the middle of each disc and rub a little egg white around the edges, then fold the disc in half and seal it well by crimping the edges closed with a fork
  9. Heat the vegetable oil to 180° in a sauté pan. Shallow fry the cassatelle in warm vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides for about 1 minute (Do not overcrowd the pan)
  10. When ready, put them on a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil and dust with powdered sugar. They are best when they are still slightly warm. Buon Appetito!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

Cù nnappi nn’appi cassateddi i Pasqua*
(Sicilian proverb)

*Those who had Cassatelle had it at Easter time

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