Pardulas – also known as pardule and called “formaggelle” in Italian – are one of Sardinia’s favorite sweets. Much like seadas, these star-shaped tartlets change their name depending on the region of Sardinia where you get them. For example in Nuoro and its surroundings they are called “casadinas.” And again, much like seadas, they consist of a simple dough that if filled with a cheese mixture – in this case, with ricotta.
Traditionally an Easter sweet, pardulas are actually eaten year round. Some say they are best enjoyed warm but trust me, in the summer months they are delicious at room temperature and even straight out of the fridge.
Sardinia is a land of shepherds, so it goes without saying that the original recipe for pardule calls for sheep’s milk ricotta, which has a bit of a stronger flavor compared to regular cow’s milk ricotta (vaccine ricotta). I actually prefer them with regular cow’s milk ricotta, so my recipe will call for this ingredient instead – besides, it is much easier to find outside of Sardinia! Other ingredients are saffron, lemon and sometimes also orange peel, and sugar.
Curious to discover how they are made? Here’s the recipe!
How To Make Pardulas
FOR THE FILLING
- 1.5 pounds (700 grams) of ricotta
- 2 and 1/3 tablespoons (30 grams) of sugar
- 1/3 cup (50 grams) of all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 grated lemon peel
- 1 grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 small bag of saffron
- 1 pinch of salt
FOR THE DOUGH
- 1 and 3/4 cups (300 grams) of all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups (200 grams) of semolina
- 3 and 3/4 tablespoons (50 grams) of lard
- 1 cup (200 milliliters) of water at room temperature
DRAIN THE RICOTTA OVERNIGHT
- Make sure to drain the ricotta of its excess liquids. Place it in the fridge in a pasta drainer with a light weight on top for about half a day.
PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Mix the flour, the semolina, the lard and about half of the water.
WORK THE DOUGH
- Mix the dough by hand for about 10 minutes then add the remaining water.
- Once ready, you should have a smooth lump. Cover it with cling film and set it aside.
PREPARE THE FILLING
- Using a fork, mix the ingredients in a large bowl until.
LAY THE DOUGH
- Lay the dough using a rolling pin or a dough sheeter.
- Using a pastry ring, cut the dough in small rounds of about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.
FILL THE TARTS
- Place a ball of the ricotta mixture at the center of the dough and pinch the dough with your fingers to obtain the traditional star shaped. You should get 5 or 6 spikes.
BAKE THE TARTS
- Bake the tarts in the preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 30 to 40 minutes.
Let the pardulas cool down for a few minutes before sprinkling with some powdered sugar and serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 7.7gSaturated Fat: 3.8gUnsaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 10g
Can I use flour instead of semolina flour to make pardulas?
You can, if you want. In this case the dough will end up being a bit softer to the bite. If on the other hand you want a crispier dough, just use semolina flour.
Why do some pardulas look swollen?
This happens when you add a bit of baking powder to the ricotta cheese mixture – which is what I recommend doing so that they look a bit more fun. If you prefer, for a lighter tart, you don’t need to add the baking powder.
Can I use ricotta straight out of the fridge?
It’s best not to. In fact, depending on how “watery” the ricotta you have is, you should let it drain with a light weight on top overnight to release the excess fluids.
How can I make the pardulas look shiny?
For a shinier look, brush the pardulas with egg yolk before you bake them. Alternatively, you can lightly glazed them with high-quality honey before serving. In this case, you won’t need to sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
How long do the pardulas last?
Pardule are best eaten within 3 or 4 days after they have been baked.
Should I keep the pardule in the fridge?
It’s certainly better to keep your pardule in the fridge during the summer months, best if in a sealed container. In the winter, you can store them for a few days at room temperature (provided your house isn’t too hot!).
Can I freeze the pardulas?
You can! Make sure to keep them in a sealed container, and to warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds before eating them.
For more recipes, check out these posts:
- An Incredibly Easy Recipe For Spigola Alla Vernaccia
- The Most Delicious Sardinian Food: Everything You Must Try
- How To Prepare Malloreddus Alla Campidanese (Gnocchetti Sardi)
- How To Make Sardinian Culurgiones
- How To Make Pani Frattau
- How To Make Seadas – Sardinian Cheese And Honey Pastries
- How To Make Sa Panada From Sardinia
- How To Make Su Mazzamurru: Sardinian Bread And Tomato Lasagne
- How To Make Sardinian Fregola Con Arselle
- How To Make Sardinian Zeppole
- How To Make Burrida Alla Cagliaritana
- How To Make Sardinian Lamb With Artichokes
- How To Make Su Mustazzeddu