A historic dessert. The small Sicilian cassata dates back to the Arab domination, and despite some variations it has had over the centuries, remains one of the favourite desserts of many, especially during Easter lunches. Here is the best recipe to prepare it at home, starting from a fundamental recommendation: ricotta must be sheep’s ricotta and must go through a sieve once or twice.

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INGREDIENTS (for 6 people):

  • 1 sponge cake
  • 500 g of Roman ricotta (or, if possible, Sicilian)
  • 150 g of assorted candied fruit
  • 30 g of shelled pistachios
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 50 g of dark chocolate
  • 200 g of green almond paste

FOR SYRUP

  • 1l of water
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of rum

PREPARATION

  1. Place 6 small circles of 8-10 cm diameter over a small pan and line the bottom and sides with a disk and a strip of baking paper.
  2. Prepare the syrup: boil the water and the sugar for 2 minutes, melting the sugar; let it cool and add the rum.
  3. Prepare the filling: pass the ricotta through a sieve, add the sugar and mix; add the candied fruit divided into small pieces, the pistachios without the skin and finally, the dark chocolate divided into small pieces.
  4. Roll out the almond paste to a thickness of about 3 mm, cut out 6 strips and cover the walls of the small circles.
  5. With a sharp knife cut the sponge cake into thick slices of 1 cm around and cut into discs with a diameter of the bead cores.
  6. Brush the pasta discs in the circles lightly with the syrup ; fill with the ricotta mixture and spread it in a uniform layer.
  7. Decorate, as desired, the small cassata with candied fruit and grains of pistachios; store in the refrigerator for at least an hour.