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This sweet fried dumpling is known as Seada or seadas or sebadas, and is a famous Sardinian dessert.
The key to the unique taste of Seada is the stark contrast between slightly acidulous cheese of the filling usually with a soured Pecorino cheese and lemon peel, and the slightly bitter Strawberry tree honey, known in Italian as miele di corbezzolo.
Only two ingredients: durum wheat semolina flour and lard (pork fat) called ‘strutto’ in Italian, and they create ‘pasta violada‘ – in Sardinian Language – a classic Sardinian dough which many traditional dishes of Sardinian gastronomy are made with.
Serves 4 | Preparation time: 20 mins + 30 mins resting in the fridge | Cooking time: 15 mins
For Pasta Violada:
- Durum Wheat Semolina Flour: 300 g
- 150 ml lukewarm water
- a pinch of salt
- Pork lard, soft : 30 g or Extra virgin olive oil: 3 tbsp
For the filling:
- Lemon or orange zest: 1
- 300 g sheep’s cheese
- 10 ml lukewarm water
- Strawberry tree honey or Millefiori or Acacia honey: to taste
- Evoo – Extra Virgin Olive oil – or Sunflower oil for deep frying
Mix together in a bowl semolina flour, the soften lard, a pinch of salt and pour a little at time enough lukewarm water to knead and get a smooth and homogeneous dough. Cover it with clingfilm and store in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the cheese and melt it in a pan with 10 ml of water, add lemon zest and stir thoroughly until cheese melt properly. Allow to cool it down and set aside.
Roll out the dough quite thinly – about 3 mm – on a lightly floured work surface. Using a dough cutter or a glass or a mug, cut out discs of dough about 10 cm in diameter.
Heat up the oil in a large sauce pan.
Put a spoonful of melted cheese in the middle of every second disc; then, overlay two discs with the cheese between them and press on the edges of the dough to close the discs together, pushing them down with the prongs of a fork.
Deep-fry each dumpling for about 1 minute or until they turn golden.
Once ready, put each seada on a plate covered with kitchen paper to absorb the leftover seed oil.Tip: Do not turn them as if they were pancakes, but simply bathe the central part of each seada with a spoonful of boiling oil.
Seada should be served and eaten hot immediately, so that the stringy cheese inside will not get cold and you can fully enjoy them. Drizzling with honey on top before serve it.
Tip: I recommend trying out a light and buttery cheese. Other great alternatives are Italian Asiago cheese or the British White Stilton, or else any cheese made from sheep milk – except aged Pecorino and goat cheese because of their too intense taste, so using any cheese made from goat milk would unbalance the flavours of this recipe.