Neapolitan Ricotta Tart (Pastiera Napoletana)

“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

Ingredients for the filling

 You will need

  • 28-cm/11-in. loose-bottomed flan tin

How to make Neapolitan Ricotta Tart

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/190°C/375°F/gas 5.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40–50 minutes until golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving warm or cold.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


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