As we are getting in the Easter spirit for the upcoming holiday, the featured recipe of the week is Pastiera Napoletana. We sell the Grano Cotto (cooked wheatberries) needed for this recipe at the deli. Continue reading to follow the recipe for this delicious Neopolitian wheatberry and ricotta Easter cake!
The Pastiera Napoletana uses a lot of ingredients and takes a total of 12 hours, but most of this time is needed for soaking the wheat in water and letting it sit overnight. You will need:
- Pasta Frolla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup of sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- Cooked wheatberries or ½ cup dry, cooked
- ½ cup hulled wheat kernels
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pastry Cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Ricotta Filling
- 1 cup (or ½ pound) whole milk ricotta
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ½ teaspoon orange flower water
- ½ cup diced candied orange peel
- Egg wash: One egg well beaten with a pinch of salt
First, soak the wheat in water to cover overnight, if possible. The next day, start with the Pasta Frolla, combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix. Cut the stick of butter into eight pieces and add them to the mixture, then pulse to mix in finely. Add the eggs and pulse until the dough forms into a ball, then remove it from the bowl, and wrap and chill the dough.
Next, drain the wheat and place in a pan with salt and water to cover by three or four inches and simmer until tender for about two hours. Add the water as necessary to keep it from drying out and sticking, then refrigerate until needed.
For the pastry cream, combine the sugar and flour in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Stir well to mix and add the milk in slowly, whisking it in smoothly, then whisk in the egg. Cook over low heat and continuously stir until the pastry cream thickens and comes to a boil. Boil while stirring vigorously for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Scrape the pastry cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.
For the filling, add the ricotta to a mixing bowl and stir the cooled pastry cream to make a smooth, creamy mixture. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining ingredients, then stir in the cooked wheatberries.
Now it’s time for the oven! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and set a rack in the lowes level. Butter a 9-inch cake pan that is 2 inches deep. Cut off ⅓ of the Pasta Frolla and set it aside, then roll the remaining ⅔ of the dough into a 14-inch disk and line the prepared pan with it, allowing the dough to hang over the edge. Pour in the filling and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Then, roll the ⅓ of dough into a 10-inch square, and cut it into ten 1-inch wide strips. Paint the strips with egg wash. Moisten the rim of the dough on the pan with the egg wash, and adhere five strips in each direction, forming a diagonal lattice. Trim away any excess dough even with the top of the pan and push the dough all around off the top rim of the pan so that it is completely within the pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the filling is set and the pastry is a light golden color. Let it cool in the pan before unmolding. Serve the Pastiera at room temperature, and enjoy!
Recipe from: The Food Network
Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli
Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!
Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!