The elegant pastry shops of Rome and Florence are filled with zuccotti of all flavors and appearances. Most of them are made in slightly flared, round-topped, bucket-shaped molds, although the classic zuccotto shape is a half-sphere. The name derives from zucco, or pumpkin; the dome shape recalls that of Florence’s Duomo, or cathedral. The zuccotto is a thoroughly Florentine dessert.
I like to use a ITA-quart Pyrex bowl to mold the zuccotto — the shape is just right — and even though the bottom of the bowl is slightly flat, the finished dessert looks like a perfect dome.
A zuccotto is, made in a mold lined with liqueur-soaked pan di spagna, filled with a creamy mousse, and covered with another disk of pan di spagna to make a stable base for the dessert after it is unmolded. Although a zuccotto is usually left fairly plain after it is unmolded, I like to cover this one with whipped cream for a more finished appearance.
Combine the ricotta and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Combine the anisette and
Pour the filling into the prepared bowl and cover with the reserved disk of pan di spagna. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 6 hours or overnight.
Invert a platter on the mold and invert the zuccotto onto the platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Whip the cream and spread it on the outside of the zuccotto, using a metal spatula. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.
Refrigerate the zuccotto, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until serving time, no more than 6 or 8 hours later.
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.