Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Ricotta, almonds and amaretti tart: surprise your family with a new Thanksgiving dessert!

There is no doubt that whilst the turkey is the king of the Thanksgiving dinner, dessert is also looked forward to with pleasure. This month, Silvia Todesco shares this delicious Ricotta, Almonds and Amaretti tart – wow… what a way to finish off this special annual feast.

One of the many things that surprised me the most when we moved to USA was (and still does!) noticing how much Americans generally loves creamy, super sweet, frosted colorful cakes and cupcakes, simple sponge cakes’ bases literally buried in butter cream, frosting, icing, or whatever… the only exception of this rule I found living here is on Thanksgiving day: the most typical pies served on this occasion are usually “dry”, not too much sweet and very aromatic. Of course, I am talking about pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie. Today I would like to share with you a new pie recipe that is dry, not too much sweet and slightly aromatic that could suit a Thanksgiving meal with an Italian touch! Also, on a practical side, Thanksgiving is always an holiday where you want to have everything perfect, and possibly prepared in advance to be able to enjoy your family, and this tart suites perfectly this necessities since it is absolutely easy to be prepared, it takes very little “hands-on” time, and if prepared a day ahead it tastes even

f you have been following me you should know that Amaretti are common Italian pastry biscuits, made mainly with almonds, egg whites and sugar. I’ve already posted a few phenomenal dessert recipes with Amaretti (Amaretti & Rum tiramisu, Dame’s kisses, Meringata), and if you have liked their special taste, you have to try even this tart! Almonds and Amaretti taste very good combined with ricotta cheese and the crumble base is always a win/win: super easy to make and delicious! Concluding, if you are wondering where you could find Amaretti (besides on the web) I would say that they always keep a few packages (especially close to the winter festivities) at Tuesday Morning, at TJ MAX, at Schnucks. Their expiration date is usually pretty far away so when I find them I usually buy a good bunch!

Ingredients for a 10″ springform round pan

For the pastry

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (100 gr.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 gr.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (300 gr.)
  • 2 tps. baking powder (16 gr.)

For the filling

  • 7 oz. (1 package) Amaretti cookies (200 gr.)
  • 15 oz. ricotta (whole or part skim) – (425 gr.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 unsalted almond (50 gr.)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 gr.)


In a food processor mix together ricotta cheese, Amaretti, egg, almonds and sugar. You will obtain a velvety and dense cream (absolutely good to be eaten raw!).

In a bowl, combine butter, almond extract and sugar first until they are very well mixed. Then the egg and keep stirring. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder. Stir until the egg, butter and sugar have been absorbed into the flour and the mixture has a crumble texture.

The mixture will be lumpy and that is right and normal. To arrange the tart, butter the springpan and sprinkle with flour. Spoon 3/4 of the crumby dough mixture into the prepard pan and keep the rest to decorate the top of the pie. Spread the dough evenly (you can even use your fingers) completely covering the bottom of the pan. Be sure to press the dough up the sides of the pan at least 1/4 inch to contain the ricotta cream while it bakes and to apply some holes to the dough by using the tips of a fork.

Pour the ricotta cream on top of the firmed crust and crumble the remaining dough on top of the cream. If you like, you can decorate the sides of the cake, again using the tips of a fork. Bake at 365 F. (180 C.) for about 40-45 minutes. It will be done when the crust gets golden and the ricotta cream changes color.

Let the cake cool off before taking it out of the spring pan to avoid breaking it and wait to serve at room temperature.


TIPS: – I don’t know if it has ever happened to you but occasionally I forget a package of ricotta cheese in the very back of the refrigerator, only to find it once it’s already expired. If the ricotta hasn’t really got bad yet, but you don’t trust eating it raw, make this tart and you will avoid the food-waste guilt and you’ll be guaranteed a delicious outcome!

If you want to make a less fat tart, you can use part skim ricotta cheese: you won’t even notice the difference!

My thanks to Silvia and it would be great if you would share your feedback and the post for others to enjoy and subscribe to Italian Goodness if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia


You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts.

Thanks again for dropping by and as always your feedback and sharing of the post is very welcome… Sally.