Typical Campania desserts: ricotta and figs

The region of  Campania  is rich in history and flavour: working with products brought from the land, masterful cooks have developed a  typical cuisine  that enhances the quality of the raw ingredients and highlights the creativity of craftsmanship. The pastry of southern Italy holds within its layers the vitality of a territory warmed by the sun and refreshed by the sea. To imagine yourself walking along the  Amalfi coast, have a slice of  original Neapolitan pastiera or Capri cake, a babà or a sfogliatella, or a tart made with that marvellous union of ingredients found in typical Campania desserts: figs and ricotta.   

Ricotta and fig cake: from Amalfi to the world

 Typical Campania desserts  draw on ingredients that, for centuries, have been cultivated in particularly fertile soil – soil that is enriched by its closeness to the sea and to the Apennines. Thanks to the proximity of uncontaminated pastures,  traditional Campania cuisine  makes plentiful use of ricotta: this is a fresh, low fat dairy product obtained from the residual whey produced when processing sheep’s milk to make cheese.  Sheep’s milk ricotta  preserves the fragrance of the grass eaten by the animals. With a flavour that is  more intense than that of cow’s milk ricotta, this product is perfect for a return to the true taste of  Campania desserts of times gone by.   Indeed, cheesemakers used to consume the ricotta they made themselves, rather than sell it:  recipes based on ricotta  reveal their authentic rural nature.

How to prepare baked caramelized figs

The  fig accompanies the change of season from summer to autumn: harvested in September, this fruit retains its charge of vitamins until winter. In the province of  Salerno. between Agropoli and Bussentino, figs are processed to become a supply of energy and mineral salts: the  Cilento white fig PDO  (Protected Designation of Origin) is peeled and dried in the sun and wind on special racks, as it was by the Phoenicians and ancient Greeks. You can bake figs quickly in the oven at home:  caramelized figs  can be stuffed and accompanied by sweet wines and liqueurs or incorporated into sweet and savoury recipes. Their  smoothness and aromaticity  make figs an ideal fruit for enjoying in  ricotta dishes.

A taste of ricotta and figs cake in a cup of RivaReno gelato

When you discover something so heavenly, it is natural to try and replicate it: the fig and ricotta tart  has inspired RivaReno to create a speciality that evokes the scents of the Mediterranean. The day-fresh ricotta and fig ice cream is a cloud of sheep’s milk ricotta sweetened with baked caramelized figs that are cooked whole to maintain their seasonal naturalness. Return to your holiday on the Amalfi coast: RivaReno will bring you the unmistakable scents of the South in a Gelato.