Sometimes I hear or see a new food (to me) or one that perhaps I knew by another name... either way I get intrigued and look it up online and in my cookbooks and get an urge to make it.

This is one of those times. I had forgotten about my interest in this one until I was looking through some of my photo files and I had saved this one (from????) because it was so... odd! It's called Sfogliatelle and although I see it and think 'seashells' and 'seafood' it ends up it's a sweet filled dessert pastry.

My first stop was to look it up at Wikipedia and then to track down a recipe! I found so many recipes online for it that I can't believe it's flown under my radar for so long! Well, no longer. Without adieu I give you;


1 c water
1/2 c ricotta cheese
1 pinch salt
1/2 c confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 c semolina
1 1/4 c flour
6 oz. butter
2 oz. sugna, strutto or lard (Umm, try shortening if you can't find these)
1 pinch cinnamon
3 oz. candied orange peel, diced
1 egg yolk

Bring the water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and pour in the semolina, stirring so as not to form lumps. Cook, stirring for about 8 mins., stirring constantly. Let cool.

Make a mound with the flour and use your fingers to make a hole in the center. Put in the well, half of the butter, a pinch of salt and as much water as necessary to knead the dough to a smooth and elastic consistency. Wrap the dough in a towel and let rest for an hour.

Mix the ricotta with the semolina, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and the candied orange peel. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin to obtain a very large rectangle, 1/16-in. thick and about 2 feet (24 inches) across and 18 inches in height. Cut the pastry vertically into 4 strips and place one on top of the other, brushing each one with melted butter. Let rest for half an hour, and then roll up the stack of dough.

Slice the roll into 10 equal pieces with a very sharp, floured knife. Place the pieces on the pastry board and roll them gently with the rolling pin, first vertically, in an upward direction, and then in a downwards direction, to give them an oval shape.

Turn the ovals over, place a bit of ricotta filling in the middle of each one, brush the edges with egg yolk, then fold the dough over and press to seal. Brush the sfogliatelle with melted shortening and place on parchment paper greased with butter. Bake at 425ºF for 20 minutes, and remove from the oven. Brush with melted butter again, lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and serve.

Photo: found thru a search enginePrint Friendly and PDF