Cuccìa al vino cotto

Cuccìa al vino cotto

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
10-12

This Sicilian dessert, served for the feast of Santa Lucia on 13 December, has no translation, and I have included it for two reasons. The first is that Sicily is a cross between tradition and internationality; it’s well known that many Sicilians left Italy to move abroad and exported their cuisine all over the world. People from Sicily are proud people, proud of their heritage and yet open to the world at the same time.

The second reason is that the recipe was generously passed to me by a wonderful Sicilian who owns a restaurant, the Trattoria Marzocco, in a lovely Tuscan town called Pietrastanta, and it is one of my all-time favourite places to eat. It was his grandmother’s recipe, and so should be cherished and respected. Thank you Pino!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g ricotta cheese, ideally sheep’s milk, or cow’s if sheep’s isn’t available
155ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
200g mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
200g cooked wheat, see note
250g caster sugar
160ml red wine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Put the ricotta in a bowl and crush it using a fork, then press it into a second, large bowl through a very fine sieve so that it is lump-free and fluffy. Using an electric whisk, whisk the cream until thickened but not stiff. Give the ricotta a stir, then fold in the whipped cream and the icing sugar.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chips, then the cooked wheat, and place in the fridge.
  3. Put the sugar, wine and cinnamon into a pan set over a medium heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the consistency resembles a syrup. Take off the heat and leave to cool, then chill in the fridge.
  4. Serve the chilled ricotta mixture in cups or ramekins, or on small plates. Pour over the wine glaze to serve.

Note

  • Cooking wheat it is a time-consuming process, so I recommend you buy it precooked (available in many supermarkets). If you want to dive straight into the Sicilian tradition, follow these steps: Soak 70g wheat grain in a bowl of water for 5 days, changing the water a couple of times, then drain, rinse, put into a pan. Cover with about 700ml water and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Take off the heat and leave to stand, with the lid on, for 4 hours, then add the same amount of water as before and cook for a further 4 hours, adding more water if the pan starts to dry out. Once cooked, drain well. You should get about 200g cooked wheat.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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