Cassata Siciliana

The Sicilian cassata is the triumph of richness and inimitable sweetness. It is a traditional Sicilian cake made with ricotta (traditionally from sheep milk), “pan di Spagna” (a soft baked dough), “pasta reale” (similar to marzipan, a mixture of almonds, pistachio and sugar) and candied fruits. Despite the apparent simplicity of the recipe, there are innumerable local variations; in fact, the exterior appearance may vary from a skinny icing decoration and a little orange peel to a opulent baroque building with colored beads and different candied fruits. There may be additional ingredients such as pistachio, pine nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, maraschino or zagara water.