These Sardinian deep-fried dumplings are filled with ricotta, sultanas and lemon and smothered in warm honey. They're just divine.
- 500 g fresh firm ricotta, well drained
- 100 g caster sugar
- 50 ml thin cream
- 2 lemons, zest grated
- 50 g sultanas, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained
- plain flour, for dusting
- local honey, to serve
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch salt
- 200 ml warm water
- 50 g lard, softened
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.
Resting time: 30 minutes
- For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the water and use your hands to start incorporating the flour into the water. When it has a granular texture, add the lard and knead it in to make a firm, smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the ricotta, sugar, cream and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the sultanas. Refrigerate until needed.
- Cut the dough in half and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Pass each piece through a pasta machine on the widest setting, then fold in half and repeat, each time switching the machine to a thinner setting, until the pasta is about 2-mm thick.
- Lay a sheet of pastry out on a lightly floured bench. Using a 10-cm cutter, lightly mark out a row of discs until just before half-way along the sheet. Place 2 tablespoons of ricotta mixture in the centre of each disc. Fold the bottom half of the pastry up to completely cover the filling and meet the top half of the pastry. Press gently around each mound of filling to eliminate as much air as possible. Use the 10-cm cutter to gently mark the dough around each mound of filling, then use a 10-cm fluted pastry cutter to stamp out the pastries. Place on a lightly floured tray and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep–fryer to 160°C. Cook the seadas in the hot oil, a few at a time, for about 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Drain on paper towel.
- While the seadas are frying, place the honey in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until hot but not boiling. Serve the seadas drizzled with hot honey.
• The ricotta filling needs to be whisked by hand, not using an electric mixer otherwise the ricotta will be overworked and may split.
• Make sure you fold just over half the pastry to fold back over the filling due to the added size of the filling. If you use exactly half, it won’t reach.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.