Traditional Easter dessert from Sardinia:
star-shaped tartlets filled with ricotta, saffron and orange zest
Today I present you with my recipe for pardulas (also known as fomaggelle sarde): a traditional Italian Easter dessert.
Originally from the beautiful region of Sardinia, pardulas are star-shaped tartlets, made with crispy pastry filled with a ricotta cheese mixture, flavored with saffron and zest of oranges (or lemon – your choice).
This typical Sardinian desserts is generally prepared for the Easter holidays, but pardulas are so good that are surely welcomed at the table any time of the year.
This recipe brings all the traditions and flavors typical of the region.
Pardulas are originally made with sheep ricotta cheese which can be really hard to find around here. So in my recipe, I substitute with fresh whole milk ricotta cheese.
To make pardulas, start by preparing the pastry.
All you need is to mix the all-purpose and semolina flour with some water, egg white, a bit of lard (or butter). You can easily mix the dough in the bowl by hand, move to the counter and knead until smooth.
Let the pastry rest while you make the filling.
The filling also comes together very easily.
One important detail to keep in mind: remove as much water as possible from the ricotta cheese. Place on a colander until nice and drained.
Mix the ricotta with an egg yolk, sugar, saffron, orange zest, flour, baking powder and salt.
Make sure not to skip on the saffron. It gives the distinctive flavor that make pardulas special and different.
Working with some of the pastry at a time, roll out using a pasta machine (or by hand with a roller), into a 2 or 3 mm thick sheet.
Cut in circles using a cookie cutter. Mine are about 3 inches in diameter.
Add one spoon full of filling to the middle of the circle. Pinch the edges in six spots like I did to make into a star-shape of pardulas. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling.
Brush with milk or egg wash and bake until golden on top. Make sure to turn off the oven and let the pardulas sit in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes so they won’t deflate when you remove from the oven.
Other Italian dessert recipes you might like:
Ready to try and bake pardulas too?!? Happy Easter weekend everyone.
PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: How to make this classic Sadenian Easter Treat