“I thought I ought to have one sweet pasta dish in this book. There are many variations of this famous and rich classical dish from the Cappuccini Convent in Amalfi. I think it’s best eaten the day after it is made.”
Cucina di Amalfi by Ursula Ferrigno, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£20). Photography by Nassima Rothacker © Ryland Peters & Small
Ingredients for the Pastry
- 125g unsalted butter
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 large egg
- 250g Italian ‘00’ flour, plus more for dusting
Ingredients for the filling
You will need
- 28-cm/11-in. loose-bottomed flan tin
How to make Neapolitan Ricotta Tart
- To make the pastry, sift the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, then gradually add the flour, mixing well to make a soft dough. Wrap in baking paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, put the ricotta, sugar (reserving 2 tablespoons), cinnamon, half the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the orange flower water, candied peel and the egg yolk in a bowl and beat together.
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk to the boil. Add the vermicelli, salt, reserved sugar and remaining lemon zest and simmer gently until the vermicelli has absorbed nearly all the milk.
- While it is still warm, stir the pasta carefully into the ricotta mixture. Whisk the egg white until it just holds it shape, then fold this into the mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/190°C/375°F/gas 5.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use two-thirds of it to line the flan tin. It is a very short pastry, so it may tear but you can patch it very easily.
- Spoon in the ricotta filling, then cut the remaining pastry into 5 mm/1/4 in. strips and arrange them in a lattice pattern over the top of the tart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40–50 minutes until golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving warm or cold.