This pasta-based version of rice pudding was originally made to use up homemade pasta before the heat of summer spoiled the batch. It used to be served with water, as milk was considered a luxury, but thankfully, nowadays, milk is the standard, which makes this a much creamier and more delicate treat. Today it’s made using the specially named short wide-ribboned pasta ‘Sant Joan’, which is similar to the Italian ‘mafaldine corte’ or ‘reginette’ (little queens) pasta. I like to think a pirate from Sardinia or Corsica threw his pasta overboard back in the looting days and it floated its way to Ibizan shores.
In Ibiza, this dessert is synonymous with the midsummer celebration of Sant Joan at the end of June. There’s even a small white-washed village called Sant Joan de Labritja.
- 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- peel of ½ lemon, white pith removed, plus lemon
- zest to serve
- peel of ½ orange, white pith removed
- 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 250 g (9 oz) mafaldine pasta, broken into 4 cm (1¼ in) lengths
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 4 hours or overnight
1. Gently warm the milk, one of the cinnamon sticks, the citrus peels and sugar in a large saucepan over medium–low heat until just about to simmer.
2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 2–3 minutes, until just cooked on the outside, but still raw on the inside. Drain and add to the warm milk. Cook for 6–8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
3. Evenly divide the pasta among six ramekins, discarding the cinnamon and peel. Set aside to cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight.
4. To serve, finely grate the remaining cinnamon stick with a microplane over each portion and finish with a sprinkling of lemon zest.
Recipe from Isla by Emma Warren (Smith Street Books, RRP $49.00), photography by Rochelle Eagle.