There are some recipes – sometimes even very easy ones – that just refuse to come out as they should: you try and try and – damn! – they still feel so and so, not as good as you would expect, not as close to the idea in your head. Roman cassola, a very simple ricotta cake of the Jewish Italian tradition, has long been one of those recipes that I could not manage to “tame”: on the first attempt the texture was wrong, on the second you could taste the eggs too much, on the third I put too much cinnamon…
Then, finally, I found the right recipe, which I’m sharing with you today, but you can not imagine how much effort and how many ingredients I wasted to get to it! Now you can save yourself countless failed attempts like mine and enjoy the cake immediately!
Cassola is a centuries-old Roman Jewish specialty, similar to a cheesecake, prepared for Shavuot. Channukkah, and other holidays.
If you avoid the breadcrumbs that are often used to coat the cake pan, this recipe also happens to be gluten-free.
- 500 g ricotta cheese best if from sheep rather than cow, but cow will do too
- 150 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 50 g raisins soaked in hot water
- butter to grease the mold
- breadcrumbs to dust the mold
- Drain the ricotta in a fine colander for an hour, until it's dry and firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180° C.
- In a large bowl, mix ricotta, sugar, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon, then add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix to obtain a smooth and homogeneous batter. Finally, add raisins to the batter and mix them in evenly.
- Grease a 20 cm hinge mold with a little butter, then sprinkle it with breadcrumbs.
- Pour the batter into the mold and cook the cassola in the hot oven for about 50 minutes.
- Remove the cassola from the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the mold.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might consider buying my cookbook Cooking alla Giudia, which features a number of traditional Jewish Italian recipes such as this one.