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Artusi’s ricotta pudding. My shelter in times of trouble.

The kitchen has always been my refuge. I still remember too clearly when I used to come back home tired or demoralized from the office: there was no other place in the world I’d rather be but within the four walls of mum’s kitchen. Usually I didn’t even take time to change my office clothes. I would jump directly into the kitchen, open the fridge and search for calmness there, wrapped by a thin cold light. It had the same effect of a steaming cup of black tea in a rainy afternoon, a warm hug from inside. I could finally think again with my own rhythm, my values.

Artusi's ricotta pudding

I was suddenly waken up by mum, who would ask me to please wear at least my home clothes before starting to cook, otherwise she would have to fight to remove the grease stains from my good shirt or pullover. You know, I’ve always been clumsy in the kitchen.

So, defeated, I would run to my bedroom to wear comfortable clothes, often directly my pyjamas, and then back in the kitchen, my realm, to move reality as I wanted. There everything was possible. I was finally able to direct the events, just as I was doing with fresh pasta and risotto, nothing could scare me.

Artusi  Artusi's ricotta pudding

I asked myself many times if this feeling of comfort would changed once I could turn my kitchen into my office, my photo set, my cooking lab, a table which could gather chats and laughter, a window from which I could look at the world outside and dream. In the last two years my kitchen has become all this in the same time. So I keep on wandering, is it still my shelter? The answer is yes, one hundred time yes.

Even if I am short on time, I have to meet one too many deadlines and test (and often re-test) five recipes per time, even if the light in my pictures is not as pure as I would like, even if reality sometimes is more difficult than I would have imagined, I come back here, to choose one recipe for me, for my blog, for you.

I suspend for a while the on line frenzy and I plunge myself into the yellowish pages of an old cookbook, Pellegrino Artusi. Now, next to my grandma Marcella’s old cookbook, there’s another copy, my great-grandmother Raffaella’s book. She was my granddad Biagio’s mother, a tiny strong woman from the South of Italy, snow white hair and a long long life. The book reached me from Melfi, carefully wrapped in a protective bag, a gift I was given because my relatives thought I would have known how to use it and protect it.

Artusi's ricotta pudding

Nothing more wrong. It is not me protecting the book, it’s the book who’s saving me, comforting me, making me feel part of a strong family devoted to the sacred art of cooking since ever. A few days ago, feeling again in times of trouble, I took the book from the shelf, leafed through the aged and well known pages and chose a recipe for my loved ones.

663. Budino di ricotta – Ricotta pudding

From Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well

I opted for a pudding with no-frills, which can also be served as it is, is self-sufficient with its subtle aroma of grated lemon zest and almonds. Choose the best ricotta you can find, and the result will amaze you. Once cold it has the same silky texture of a baked cheesecake, each bite will melt in your mouth slowly, reconciling you with the world.

663. Ricotta pudding

Pellegrino Artusi
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 300 g of ricotta cheese
  • 100 g of icing sugar
  • 100 g of blanched almonds
  • 5 eggs
  • A dash of lemon zest
  • Butter and breadcrumbs for the mould
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  • Crush the almonds as fine as possible in a mortar with one of the egg whites.
  • Pass the ricotta through a strainer if it is hard or lumpy, then mix thoroughly with the almonds.
  • Beat the rest of the eggs separately and then fold into the mixture along with the sugar and the lemon zest.
  • Now pour the mixture into a pudding mould greased with butter and dusted with breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oven to 170°C and bake for one hour until golden and quite dry inside: test the doneness with a skewer. Unmould and serve cold.


To speed up the preparation I put all the ingredients in a blender and I blended until smooth. Sssshhhh do not tell Pellegrino!
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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. I have often wondered the same thing, will I start to loose the calmness that cooking brings ones it is my job. Will I start to loath parts of it like I did my day job. Time will have to tell. Lovely post as always x

  2. 5 stars
    This is my first time commenting Juls, though I read you always. Reading your blog has the same calming effect. Things suddenly go into perspective. You have built a beautiful place here and your recipe today is awesome with both ingredients I am so fond of, ricotta and almonds. I shall try it at home!

    1. Hello Viviana, I am so happy to read your comment! Hope to see you soon here and thanks for the nice feedback from the bottom of my heart!

  3. I’ve always loved to spend time in the kitchen as it is a place that calms me and makes me feel well…

    This pudding is marvelous! I’ll have to try it soon.



  4. Thanks Guilia, You’re the best. I’m there in your kitchen with you in Spirit, half way around the world, thanks!! Can’t wait to try this. Ginger

  5. You know I know exactly how you feel, especially when turning to Artusi for comfort! 🙂 By the way, if you need a book restorer (as charming as it looks with yellowing tape all over it!), you know where to come! 😉

  6. What size is a “pudding mold”? Can you give us an equivalent type of pan to use instead? Thank you!!! I make my own ricotta, it’s the blanching almonds that will be tricky for me. 🙂

  7. This looks so good! I love the short list of ingredients.
    I cannot wait to make it! Too bad I don’t have a pretty mold like yours 🙁 I have a star shaped mold…will have to measure to see how close to 750 mL it holds. Thanks!!!

  8. Hi Giulia,
    I just made this tonight! I didn’t have any pretty molds like yours, so I just used an 8 inch round cake pan with 2 inch high sides. I also didn’t have any lemon, but I used some almond extract =d
    I found that after around 40 minutes of baking, the pudding was starting to pull away from the sides and had a brown crust on the sides! my cake tester also came out clean with no crumbs. So, I took it out. Now that it’s cooled, it has somewhat fallen. Is this normal, or did I do something wrong?
    For my method, I used a food processor to process all but the eggs. I beat the eggs by hand and mixed the ricotta mixture with the eggs.
    It tastes really good, but it just doesn’t look very nice. Please help? : )

    1. Hi Megan,
      it slightly fell a little bit, but I used a much deeper mould, and cooked it for longer, this might have been the reason.

  9. I made this today for the first time and we are really enjoying it! I changed the lemon to orange and added some dark chocolate bits because my family loves chocolate with their ricotta sweets. I had a hard time getting it out of my mold but I’ll butter the pan better next time or perhaps try a cake pan. Definitely delicious! Thank you ❤️

    1. I lke the idea of adding chocolate and substituting lemon with orange, I’ll try your version as well!

  10. What do you mean when you say “beat the eggs”? What consistency should they have? Just slightly beaten (white and yolk just combined with a fork) or well beaten with hand mixer (light, thick and frothy)? I think this is crucial in this recipe. Thank you!

  11. How well does this pudding keep? I would like to make it three or four days in advance of a dinner: does it keep well in the fridge, or does it have to be made fresh on the day to maintain texture and taste?

    1. Hello Suse, you can make it the day before, but not three or four days in advance, as it wouldn’t keep well, I’m sorry!

      1. Thanks for the speedy response.
        It’s what I expected, based on the recipe, but no time to experiment so it was worth a question.
        Sounds so good that I’ll re-stack my planning 🙂

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