Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
logo twitter   logo facebook   loco pinterest

Neapolitan pastiera
( Pastiera Napoletana )

Authentic Italian recipes

Neapolitan pastiera is a traditional cake for Easter. Indeed this centuries-old dish is a tart with a shell of pastry enclosing a filling of ricotta, cooked wheat, candied fruit and sugar. A goodness! A feast for the eyes! This tasting ricotta tart was made, traditionally, for celebrating the return of fine season in Naples but you can cook it every time in the year as we actually do in Italy. Undoubtedly pastiera has high in calories and fat. But once in a while ... Pair it to arancino, a typical Italian liqueur.

difficulty: medium

time: 2 hour

calories: 582 (kCal)

Ingredienti / Dosi per 12

  • 1 420g (14.8 ounces) can pre-cooked wheat grains
  • 1 10g glass vial of orange-flower essence or "Millefiori" flavoring
  • 250ml (8 1/2 fluid ounces - 1 cup) skimmed milk
  • 180g (6 1/3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Grated rind of 1 orange or 1 lemon
  • 550g (1.2 pound) ricotta cheese
  • 7 eggs
  • 590g (1.3 pound - 3 cups) sugar castor
  • 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla
  • 350g (12 1/3 ounces - 3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar to garnish
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) candied fruit
medium difficulty
preparation: 60 minutes
cooking: 50 - 60 minutes
total: 2 hour
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 582 (kcal) 30 % - 2434 (kJ)
Protein: 13.3 (g) 27 % GDA
Total fat: 20.9 (g) 30 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 88.1 (g) 33 % GDA
Sugars: 60.2 (g) 67 % GDA

Download free PDF version (367 download).

Neapolitan pastiera recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare the short pastry necessary for Neapolitan pastiera. Link to Italian traditional recipe below.
  • - Put flour, 140g (5 ounces) sugar castor and salt on a work surface.
  • - Make a well in the center and add 2 eggs and 140g (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into little pieces.
  • - With your fingertips incorporate flour into eggs and butter.
    You mustn't knead for a long time as generally it is made preparing short pastry.
  • - Cover the dough you've obtained with a napkin and allow to rest, at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • - Meanwhile prepare the filling for pastiera.
  • - Pour pre-cooked wheat grains into a saucepan with milk, 25g (1 ounce) butter and an orange rind. You can also use a lemon, if preferred.
  • - Cook over medium heat until creamy, stirring continuously.
  • - With a hand mixer or a whisk, mix ricotta cheese, 450g (1 pound) sugar castor, 5 eggs, vanilla and orange-flower essence or "Millefiori" flavouring.
  • - Combine with your grain mixture and fold in candied fruit, cubed.
  • - Stir gently until creamy and smooth.
  • - Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
  • - Butter a baking pan (preferably with a detachable base) and line it with your pastry.
  • - Keep a piece of pastry apart to decorate your tart surface.
  • - Pour in your prepared mixture.
  • - Decorate your pastiera with remaining short pastry according to your fancy.
  • - Bake until pastiera surface is golden, 50 to 60 minutes or.

Just before serving

  • - Let your pastiera cool in its baking pan before serving.
  • - Sprinkle its surface with icing sugar. if liked.



  • - The real essence for Neapolitan pastiera is "Millefiori" but, if you don't find it, you can use orange-flower essence too.
    I remember you there are some packages on sale where you can find pre-cooked wheat grains and Millefiori essence.
  • - You can prepare Neapolitan pastiera the day before.
  • - If you have no time use ready-to-cook short pastry.
  • - Some variants of the traditional recipe Neapolitan pastiera are:
    someone replaces ricotta with pastry cream. (link to traditional recipe below!)
    some people use wheat, rice and barley in the stuffing.

Menu planning

  • - The Neapolitan pastiera was the typical cake of spring and especially Easter. The fact is, however, that in the Naples area and all over Italy pastiera is prepared and eaten almost all year round.
  • - Serve the Neapolitan pastiera as closing-course in a lunch or dinner menu but in a buffet party too. It 'a soft tart despite the pastry shell because the shell must be very thin and then you can cut pastiera even standing.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - The Neapolitan pastiera is delicious but also very rich in calories, like almost all dishes of Neapolitan cuisine, which certainly are not short on the number and amount of ingredients. So it's not a cake to be included in your daily menu, but a tart for your special occasions.
  • - Neapolitan pastiera is a very tasty ricotta tart. There are very few people who say no to a dessert after lunch or dinner, especially when people are out. But keep in mind that many sweets are the opposite of healthy eating.
    So how do you? As usual, the equilibrium point is the salvation of each one of us.
    In the daily menu, as guidelines for healthy eating recommend us, we have to prefer dry and baked cakes paying attention to the amount of sugar.
    But if there is a special event (birthday party at home, ceremony, dinner with friends ...) let's enjoy our special cake. Once in a while, especially if you do exercise, the body can metabolize the calories, fats and sugars in excess.


What's the right wine for " Neapolitan pastiera "?

Our suggestion is serving an arancino (orange-flavored liqueur) after eating Neapolitan pastiera.

A little history

  • - Once Neapolitan people prepared pastiera with pasta. Have you understood why its name? ;))))