Sebadas

Sardinian Honey Fritters

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These sticky and sweet ravioli fritters are called sebadas and are a classic dessert from the unique and beautiful island of Sardinia. They are traditionally filled with local creamy sheep’s milk cheese (but any cream cheese can be used instead) and drizzled with fragrant orange blossom honey. They are one of the typical sweet recipes of the mountainous, sparsely populated area of Barbagia, which is located just south of the central part of the island.

Ingredients

  • 500 g/ lb plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp lard or white cooking fat
  • a pinch of salt
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp clear honey
  • grated rind of 1 lemon

For the Filling

  • 500 g/1 ¼ lb/5 cups cream cheese
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup boiling water
  • a pinch of salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp fine semolina

Method

  1. To make the filling, put the cream cheese in a small pan and mix with the boiling water, salt and lemon rind. Simmer gently, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the semolina and whisk until it has become a thick paste. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  3. Dip your hands in cold water and shape the mixture into little flat pancakes about 6cm/2 ½in in diameter and about 1cm/½in thick.

  4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Lay the pancakes out in one layer on the tray, well spaced out. Use a clean dish cloth to dab any excess moisture off them. You can lay a sheet of baking parchment over the pancakes and arrange another layer of pancakes on top, if you are short of space.

  5. To make the pastry, pile all the flour on to the work surface and make a hole in the middle. Add the lard and salt. Knead together, adding enough tepid water to make a smooth, elastic dough.
  6. Put the dough in a plastic bag and rest it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out each piece very thinly to make two even sheets. Lay the sebadas on one sheet of dough, evenly spaced and side-by-side in rows.
  8. Lay the other sheet of dough on top and gently roll the rolling pin around the edges to seal. Using a pastry wheel or a 7.5cm/3in pastry cutter, cut around each pancake, leaving a narrow edge of pastry.

  9. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan or deep-fryer until a small cube of bread, dropped in the oil, sizzles instantly. Fry the pastries in batches until golden.
  10. Remove the pastries using a slotted spoon, and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with lemon rind.