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Seadas

Seadas
  • Dessert
  • medium
  • Makes 12
  • 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes for resting the dough

PT30M

PT30M

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A unique dessert that feels quintessentially Sardinian, seadas (also known as sebadas) are one of the best-known dishes from the region. It’s a dish of humble origins hailing from the pastoral areas at the core of the region – areas in which sheep’s milk cheese and honey were widely available.

Walking the fine line between savoury and sweet, these ravioli-like pastries boast an lemon-scented cheese filling that melts and oozes when deep-fried, and a honey drizzle that balances out the flavour game while also adding a beautiful floral note to the ensemble.

The pastry is of the rustic type. It’s made with semolina flour and enriched with lard, resulting in a saturated, textured dough that is surprisingly easy to work with and that crisps up to perfection when deep-fried. That said, you can replace lard with olive oil if you like.

Young sheep’s milk cheese (primosale), of the kind that feels soft and giving to the touch and that tastes slightly tangy but not salty, is what makes the filling. If you can’t find it, opt for something similar in flavour and texture, even if it’s made with cow’s milk.

Finally, the honey. Corbezzolo honey is traditional and worth seeking out if you’re feeling adventurous; it has a peculiar – almost bittersweet – flavour that pairs beautifully with the cheese. Alternatively, chestnut honey is also traditional, but a tad sharp-tasting. If you prefer milder honeys, acacia is a good bet.

Ingredients

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  • For the pastry

  • 250g of semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 35g of lard, at room temperature (or use olive oil if preferred)
  • 125ml of warm water, or as needed
  • For the filling

  • 250g of young Pecorino cheese, shredded
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zested
  • To serve

  • sunflower oil, or olive oil, for frying
  • honey, for drizzling (warmed)
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Method

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1
In a large bowl, make a dough by combining the flour with the lard and the water – add it bit by bit – until it reaches a workable, elastic texture. Knead the dough until you have a smooth ball. Wrap it in cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes
2
Make the filling by melting the cheese in a small saucepan set over a low heat. (Add a tablespoon of water if you see that the cheese has a hard time melting.) Once melted, stir in the lemon zest, then pour it out onto a large chopping board or a baking tray lined with parchment. Spread it out to about ½ cm thick using a spatula; leave it to cool and set completely, then cut out 12 circles using a 6cm cookie or round pasta cutter (or, alternatively, a cup of the same size)
3
Dust a working surface with semolina flour. Roll out the dough to about 2mm thickness. Cut out 24 7cm wide circles. Place a round of cheese over a round of pastry, then top it with a second round of pastry and press the edges to seal the seada. (You can use a fork, too.) Repeat with the remaining cheese and pastry
4
Fill ¾ of a high-edged skillet with oil and set over a medium heat. As soon as the oil reaches 180°C, fry the seadas in batches until deeply golden on both sides. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a platter cover with kitchen paper
5
Drizzle the piping-hot seadas with warm honey and serve right away
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