225g plain or Italian ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
65g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely grated unwaxed lemon zest
pinch of sea salt
icing sugar and cocoa powder, for dusting
225g ricotta cheese
55g caster sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon candied orange peel or mixed peel, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shelled hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
25g plain chocolate, 50% cocoa solids, grated

These dome-shaped pastries are made from a sweet pasta dough. Their shape has inspired the name which, literally translated, means ‘breasts of Saint Agatha’. During a recent teaching trip in Italy, representatives of a major supermarket chain, who were attending, became very excited by this recipe, feeling it could be marketed as an Italian version of a Christmas mince pie. It certainly has as much diversity in its flavour and, in fact, tastes divine!


View the recipe collection here



1.To make the pastry, put the flour and sugar in a food processor and, working on full speed, add the butter pieces gradually until well mixed.
2.With the food processor still running, add the egg, lemon zest and salt.
3.Turn the dough out onto baking paper, flatten, cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Allow to come back to room temperature before rolling.
5.Push the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl.
6.Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolk, peel, hazelnuts and chocolate until well mixed.
7.Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C. Grease a large baking sheet.
8.Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about 5mm thick (see note).
9.Use a 7cm cutter to cut out about 24 circles.
10.Put 2 teaspoons of filling on half the pastry circles and top each with another pastry circle.
11.Press the edges to seal all round.
12.Place the pastries on the greased baking sheet and prick the top of each one with the tines of a fork.
13.Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden.
14.Leave to cool, then dredge with icing sugar and cocoa powder.

Cucina di Amalfi
by Ursula Ferrigno,
published by Ryland
Peters & Small,
photography by Nassima
Rothacker, distributed by, $49.99.