Italian food is well known for its homely and fresh flavour. The Pardulas, which is a sort of pie, stands testament to the passion the Italians display within the kitchen space.
The Pardulas is considered the most typical Sardinian sweet. It is commonly made on festive occasions such as Easter. It dates back to aeons ago in Sardinia, and has been a part of the staple diet for quite awhile. It also has a plethora of variations that have nuanced differences depending on the region of Italy it is being made in. The intriguing thing about the Pardulas is that it is quite hard to typify it as a ‘cake’ or ‘tart’, since it has nuances of aesthetic appearance from both, but tastes quite different from them.
The Pardulas is essentially made using ingredients such as ricotta and saffron. The quality of the ingredients is screened to a great degree in order to make sure that the product has the perfect taste. The texture and strength of the saffron flavour are what add a special punch to the dessert. The delicate ‘pies’ as one can call them, are stuffed with ricotta cheese. The dish is known as the Pardulas in South West Sardinia, but is also called the ‘casgiaddina’ and ‘casadinas’ in the Sassari and Nuoro regions respectively.
My Experience With the Pardula:
This process was my first experience with making Sardinian sweets. I was quite nervous to see what the outcome would taste and look like. I’m not even very adept in the kitchen, so I braced myself for some interesting results. I tried to maintain the original, pie like shape of the Pardulas while making them, but was unable to provide enough grounding for it to stay put in its original, neatly stuffed form. In order to salvage the Pardulas, I had to change how they looked in order for them to be edible. Despite the manipulated, contorted appearance of the dish, it seemed to be quite tasty.
- Mix together 15g f lard, 250g of flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl to make a dough. Add some lukewarm water before thoroughly churning them together.
- Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes
- Roll out the dough into sheets and then make tart like pockets. Pinch them at the ends to make them star shaped.
In another bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, wheat flour, plain flour, baking powder, sugar, egg yolks, saffron, lemon and orange peel. Churn the ingredients together to create a filling.
- Fill this ricotta paste into the tart cases
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Even though I was quite skeptical about how the Pardulas would turn out, they tasted quite pleasant to my friends, who came to watch me cook and enjoy the exotic food I made as a part of this task. Despite how the product looked, I learnt that it is the taste and not the way the food looks that matters through this task, other than broadening my awareness about Sardinian food culture.
Sardinian Easter Sweets http://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/pardulas-recipe