Pardulas are star-shaped tartlets filled with ricotta, saffron and citrus peel. They are a traditional dessert from the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia and even though they are now available throughout the year, they are still considered the most iconic Easter dessert of the island.
Sardinia is well-known for its sheep and sheep’s milk cheeses which are used in sweet and savoury dishes alike. Traditionally, pardulas too are made with sheep’s milk ricotta, but you can use cow’s milk ricotta too if you cannot find the sheep’s milk version.
The filling has a soft and spongy consistency and it is infused with the flavour of the Mediterranean region, thanks to the citrus peel. The use of saffron adds an extra exotic touch to this delicious dessert. Pardulas should be served lukewarm and can be eaten plain or decorated with icing sugar. They can also be brushed with honey and topped with colourful sprinkles for a more festive look.
PER 4 PEOPLE
For the pastry:
- semolina Flour, 14 oz
- lard, 17 oz
For the filling:
- ricotta, well-drained, 17 oz
- lemon, 1
- orange, 1
- eggs, 3
- 1 pinch of saffron
- fine semolina as needed
- caster sugar as needed
- With the semolina, form a well on the pastry board, knead it together with some lukewarm water, salt, lard and leave the dough to rest for a while in warm spot.
- Meanwhile dissolve the saffron with a litte lukewarm water, grate the washed and dried orange and lemon peels and add them to the finely chopped cheese or ricotta, add the eggs, a couple of handfuls of semolina and a some of caster sugar;
- knead it all until obtaining a firm yet soft dough and with it shape some small balls the size of a walnut.
- Then knead the pasty dough once more, roll out a sheet and cut out some small discs about the size of a coffee cup saucer.
- Place a ball in the centre of each disc and fold the pastry in towards the centre with 5 equidistant corners, forming little basket shapes.
- Arrange the pastry shapes in oven pans, sprinkled with semolina and leave them to bake in a moderately heated oven for 30 minutes.
- Once ready, brush them with a little ‘honey and serve