This ricotta tart or ‘La Torta dei Pastori’ was the morning or afternoon snack of the shepherds of Abruzzo while they were away with their flock of sheep. The shepherds’ housewives prepared the tart with the fresh ricotta adding some chocolate if they had, and the lemons the shepherds brought from Apulia during their migration back to Abruzzo.

Difficulty

Easy

Preparation

20 min

Cooking

20/25 min

Serves

10 people

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 medium organic eggs (about 70 gr each)
  • 200 gr flour (type ’00’ or white strong)
  • 50 gr of sugar
  • 80 gr of butter
  • 8 gr of yeast for desserts

For the Ricotta filling:

  • 300 gr of fresh sheep’s ricotta (if you can’t find it, you can use cow ricotta or mascarpone as the last option)
  • 2 tbsp of grated dark chocolate
  • lemon zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of organic honey
  • a drop of cinnamon if you like.

Tools

  • A bowl
  • Pan for warming the butter
  • 20 cm tart pan

Preparation

Abruzzo Recipe: Shepherd's Tart with Ricotta Experience BellaVita

Grate the lemon zest and in a pan melt the butter and let it on the side. Start mixing the eggs with the sugar. Add the butter, the yeast, and slowly incorporate all the flour.

Abruzzo Recipe: Shepherd's Tart with Ricotta Experience BellaVita

Roll the dough into a smooth ball and divide it in half. Roll out half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a 1E coin, then lift into the tart tin. Press it down gently on the bottom and sides, then trim off any excess pastry.

Abruzzo Recipe: Shepherd's Tart with Ricotta Experience BellaVita

Add the lemon’s zest, chocolate, and honey into the ricotta and mix it well.

Abruzzo Recipe: Shepherd's Tart with Ricotta Experience BellaVita

Fill the tart with the ricotta mixture and roll out the remaining dough like if you were making gnocchi.

Abruzzo Recipe: Shepherd's Tart with Ricotta Experience BellaVita

Lay the long ‘gnocchi’ dough in vertical and horizontal like if you were building a net. Heat the oven to 180 C fan/gas 3/4 and cook for about 20/25 minutes until the dough is coloured.

 

Mamma’s Top Secrets:

  • Use fresh sheep’s ricotta
  • Use organic fresh eggs
  • Use organic honey

 

Don’t forget:

  • Don’t heat the butter too much, or the eggs will cook.
Marino Cardelli

Marino Cardelli

Food & Wine Enthusiast, 2nd level Qualified Wine Sommelier, Licensed Tour Leader of the Abruzzo Region, Official Abruzzo Smart Ambassador. I try to create environments & opportunities for Abruzzo's small business, young people and our traditions to thrive through sustainable tourism.

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