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Mezzelune dolci (Half-Moon-Shape Sweet Pasta Filled with Candied Fruit)

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Mezzelune dolci (Half-Moon-Shape Sweet Pasta Filled with Candied Fruit)

Mezzelune dolci (Half-Moon-Shape Sweet Pasta Filled with Candied Fruit)
Kate Whitaker
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total prep
This is a classic Neapolitan dessert that is usually eaten around Easter time. I remember like it was yesterday my grandmother filling the pasta with candied fruits and ricotta cheese and me trying to help her as much as I could, because I knew I’d get an extra serving at the end. You can use good-quality chocolate chips instead of candied fruit.

Recipe courtesy of Pasta Italiana: 100 Recipes from Fettuccine to Conchiglie by Gino D’Acampo/Kyle Books, 2012.


  • 3 whole eggs and 2 extra yolks, plus 2 eggs, beaten, for brushing
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 orange
  • 10 almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces candied fruit, finely chopped


  • Beat two of the whole eggs in a bowl and set aside.
  • To make the sweet pasta dough, in a food processor, place the remaining one egg and two egg yolks, add the flour, butter, and Amaretto, and process until mixed. Turn out the mixture onto a well-floured counter and knead for 2 minutes until you have a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • To prepare the filling, in a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Flatten the prepared pasta dough with your fingers so that it can fit through the rollers of the pasta machine. Flour the pasta lightly on both sides and start to roll it from the widest setting to the thinnest. Make sure you keep the pasta dusted with flour at all times. Lay the pasta sheets on a well-floured counter. Cut into circles using an 3 1/4-inch cutter—you should get 28 to 30 circles.
  • Place about a teaspoonful of the filling in the center of each circle, sharing it out equally. Brush the edges of the circles with beaten egg and fold over to make half-moon shapes. Press down to seal with your fingertips. Using a fork, press the edges again to secure the filling.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil until hot and smoking. Carefully drop in the sweet-filled pasta and deep-fry for about 15 seconds until golden all over. (Be very careful and work in batches—no more than five at a time.)
  • Once cooked, remove the mezzelune using a slotted spoon and place on some paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
  • To serve, place all the mezzelune on a large serving dish and dust with plenty of confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with a little glass of Amaretto or Vin Santo.