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torta di ricotta
Torta di Ricotta (Italian Ricotta Pie with egg whites, Strega and anisette liqueur)
Originated from: Puglia, Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Michele Forgione's family recipe was published in "The Montreal Gazette" (2010)

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Pasta frolla (pastry dough)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar
1/4 cup (50mL) grape seed oil
2 to 21/2 cups (500 to 624 mL) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5mL) baking powder (preferably Paneangel)

Ricotta filling:
2pounds (900g) ricotta
6 egg whites
1/2 cup (125mL) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30mL) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30mL) strega di benevento
2 tablespoons (30mL) anisette liqueur (or sambuca)
Zest of 1 lemon


Pastra frolla (pastry dough):

"In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and oil. Set aside. In another bowl, combine 2 cups (500mL) of the flour and the baking powder. Combine the two sets of ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to form a thick dough. Work it gently with your hands, just like you would any pastry dough. If the dough is too stick, gently knead in the extra flour. Shape the dough into a disc, cover with cling film and refrigerate until read to use."

Ricotta filling:

"In a mixing bowl with the aid of an electric mixer; or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, blend all the ingredients on medium-high speed for 10 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190C); prepare an 11-inch porcelain pie pan. Roll the chilled dough into a 1/4-inch-thick (5 mm) round, then fit it into the base of the pie pan. Pour in the ricotta mix, then roll out the dough scraps and cut them into strips. Make a pretty lattice pattern, pressing them into the overhanging dough on the sides, and then trim off the edges.

Place the pie on the middle rack of the preheated oven and reduce the temperature immediately to 350 degrees F (180C). Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre of the filling jiggles slightly. Let cool completely on a wire rack. It's best to refrigerate it overnight before slicing and serving. The pie keeps well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to four days."


This recipe for a traditional ricotta cheese pie from the Puglia region was first published in the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday August 18th 2010 (pC2). Permission to use the recipe on this website was given by Michele Forgione, a famous Montreal chef, who intends to "preserve" not "innovate" traditional Italian cuisine. For the complete "Arts & Life" front page article on Michele Forgione see the Montreal Gazette's on-line newspaper.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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