You know what would be nice? A weekend getaway to the stunning Italian island of Sardinia. Not in your future? Well you can temporarily transport yourself to the azure Mediterranean with the help of the below recipe for Sebadas with Pecorino and Corbezzolo Honey, which are Sardinian-style semolina fritters filled with ewes' milk cheese.
The dish comes from La Sirena, a new N.Y.C. eatery opened by renowned Italian chef Mario Batali and restaurateur, author, and TV personality Joe Bastianich. We think its the perfect sweet-and-savory addition to any brunch spread, so go ahead and give it a try this weekend.
Sebadas with Pecorino and Corbezzolo Honey
For the Sebadas
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups 00 flour (Italian style flour)
1 cup all-purpose Flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard
1 cup ice water
For the Filling
1 lb ricotta, drained overnight
1 cup grated pecorino romano
Zest of one lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch sugar, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For frying and garnish
4 cups canola or soy oil
1 tbsp Corbezzolo honey (a bitter honey that is incredibly hard to find, so you can use whatever honey you have on hand)
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
1 tbsp freshly grated black pepper
1. To make the sebadas: Combine the flours, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until evenly distributed. Add the lard and pulse until pea-sized pieces have formed. While the motor is running, slowly add the water until just incorporated. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead until it forms a cohesive ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Once the dough has rested, begin to roll the dough. Roll out the pastry to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut eighteen 3-inch rounds out of the pastry. Dust each disk with flour, place on a sheet tray, cover with a clean towel and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine ricotta, pecorino, lemon zest, flour and season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Place two tbsp of the cheese mixture on 9 of the rounds and cover each like a sandwich with another round of dough. Press the edges together and seal and press down around the edges with the tines of a fork. Place on tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a high-sided pan until it registers 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Gently drop the fritters into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, being sure not to crowd the pan. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the sebadas to paper towels to drain.
5. Serve hot with a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of pecorino and black pepper. Serve immediately.