Updated: Jun 23
Cassatelle are delicious little Sicilian pastries made with a simple Pasta Frolla (pie dough) and then filled with a ricotta and chocolate chip filling.
Basically the same filling as used for Cannoli. While you can find Cannoli all year round in Sicily, Cassatelle are eaten during Carnival Time.
What I love most about making these delicious pocket of ricotta? The perfume of the pastry dough! Thanks to a touch of wine that weaves its magic into the dough, the smell is really intoxicating.
Makes 20 - Preparation time 20 min - Resting time 1 hour - Cooking time 15 min
200g (1 cup) ricotta cheese
120g (½ cup) soft icing sugar, sifted
50g (¼ cup) mini chocolate chips
½ lemon zest
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
200g 00 flour (or all-purpose flour)
40g granulated sugar
½ lemon zest
35ml olive oil
3 Tablespoons Marsala wine (or dry white wine)
1 pinch of salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Icing sugar or cocoa powder, for garnish
1. MAKING THE RICOTTA FILLING:
Before making Cassatelle it is best to place the ricotta cheese in a sieve or cheese cloth over a bowl in the refrigerator, let it sit for an hour before using.
Once the ricotta has drained make the filling. Place the drained ricotta in a medium bowl and whisk in the sifted icing sugar and cinnamon until creamy, then fold in the chocolate chips and zest, cover and place in the fridge until needed.
2. MAKING THE PASTRY DOUGH:
Put all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment (or just knead it all by hand). Turn the mixer on and mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth, compact dough.
Form the dough into a ball, cover and chill for one hour.
3. ASSEMBLING CASSATELLE
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it very thin (you could also use a pasta machine for this). Using a medium round cookie cutter (8/10 cm) cut out rounds.
Place a spoonful of filling on half the round, smear a little water around the edges with your fingers and fold the empty half over. Seal using the tongs of a fork (or just your fingers) around the edges.
Heat about 5 cm (2 inches) of oil in a medium pot to 170C (340F), add 3 or 4 Cassatelle at a time and fry until golden (turn them a couple of times frying for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown).
Remove the Cassatelle with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, dust with powdered icing sugar and serve warm.
Fried food is always best eaten asap, if you have leftovers, be sure to refrigerate the pastry because of the ricotta filling.
If you have some dough leftover, you can freeze it, or cut it into 3x6 cm rectangles and shallow fry in the oil.
For a healthier version, bake Cassatelle on baking paper in a pre-heated oven at 180C (350F) for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Dust with powdered sugar, serve warm or cold.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram a_pasta_journey . I would love to hear from you! Marina Totta