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Cassatelle alla Siciliana
Cassatelle alla Siciliana (Fried dough, without yeast, layered, with ricotta stuffing)
Originated from: Sicily
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Lina Molina

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For the dough
1 pound flour
1 egg
4 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry red wine
3 tablespoons lard (e.g. Tenderflake)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

For ricotta filling
1 pound ricotta
2 tablespoons chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sugar

Vegetable oil for deep frying

For decoration
about 1/8 cup icing sugar


To make the dough

o Place water in a saucepan. On low heat dissolve the sugar in it. Cool.

o Beat egg. Add vanilla and wine to it.

o Mix egg mixture with sugared water.

o Mix flour with baking powder.

o Incorporate wet ingredients with dry ones and work into a soft dough.

o Shape into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

o Roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch and cut into 3 inch rounds.

o Heat up oil and fry until golden on both sides.

o Drain on kitchen towels.

o Cool.

To make the stuffing

o Using an electric bender, beat ricotta, sugar and almond extract until it has a creamy texture (about 5 minutes).

o Add chocolate to the ricotta mixture and mix well with a spatula.

o Add the grated orange and lemon zest and mix well.

To make the casatelle

o Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta filling on a fried round. Top with another round. Spread another tablespoon of ricotta filling. Top with another round.

o Repeat until all the rounds are used.

o Store in fridge until needed.

o Prior to serving, dust with icing sugar.


Photo: Mary Melfi.

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