Ricotta Cream Turnover

(“Ravioli con Crema di Ricotta”)
(“Cassateddi Fritti o ‘Nfurnati”)

                          Baked Cassateddi

These delicious ricotta cream turnovers are another spin-off of the breast of virgin, the minni of virgin, originally baked or fried around March 20, when the spring equinox occurs and the spring season begins.
In the province of Trapani and of Syracuse, the cassateddi are now made for Carnevale, the feast which occurs before Lent and also for the Christmas Season.
Those delicious pastries baked or fried are well liked and are now prepared all year around as a snack or as dessert. 
The original recipe made with bread dough and stuffed with ricotta, honey and spices, has been slightly changed and updated to include some fat, alcohol and eggs, giving to the cassateddi the present characteristics of lightness and a distinctive taste very pleasant to the palate.

There are many variations of this original recipe: in other places in Sicily the cassateddi are filled with vanilla or chocolate custard or with preserved fruits, but no one can equal the savory filling made with the ricotta made in Trapani from sheep’s milk or the particular taste of the cassateddi made in Syracuse where honey is used instead of sugar.
The ricotta available in our markets is not as dry as the Sicilian ricotta, but the problem can be solved by adding some sponge cake crumbs or crushed cookies. 




For the Filling

  • 2 ½ lb. ricotta 
  • 1cup granulated sugar or ½ cup of honey 
  • 4 oz. chocolate chips 
  • 4 oz. diced preserved fruit 
  • pinch of vanilla powder 
  • 1 drop cinnamon oil 
  • zest of 1 orange or 1 drop of orange extract 
  • small pinch of salt 


For the Dough

  • 2 lb. Semolina flour 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar  or 6 tablespoons of honey 
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil or 4 oz. Crisco or butter 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 shots of cognac or vodka or ½ cup of Marsala wine 
  • small pinch of salt 
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • water if needed 


For Cooking

  • canola or corn oil for deep frying 
  • 2 eggs beaten with a 4 tablespoons of milk for the egg-wash if baking the cassateddi.



The Filling
Mix all the ingredients to make filling. Filling should be of a nice consistency. If filling is too watery add some crumbs made of sponge cake or cookies.


The Dough
Mix all ingredients to make dough and knead for 4-5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and more consistent of bread or pizza dough. Add some water if the dough is too hard to knead.
Cover and rest dough for 20/30 minutes.
Divide the dough in 4 pieces, and divide each piece into 6 pieces, shape into balls.


The Cassateddi
Roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin to 1/8 inch, giving an elliptical shape.
In the center of each piece, place 1 teaspoon of filling, and pull over the stuffed dough the long way, in the shape of a half moon, press down on the borders, making sure they are properly sealed to avoid the filling from leaking. Place them in a greased baking sheet. When you have prepared all the cassatelle proceed with the cooking.



The Frying
Over a medium heat, deep fry the cassatelle and turn until golden on both sides. Transfer to a dish covered with paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar or honey and serve hot or cold.


The Baking
Egg wash the cassatelle and bake at 375 degrees, until golden color.
Sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar or honey, serve hot or cold.