Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Nicoletta November 7, 2018

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Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata, a light, creative, Italian-inspired take on a classic pie for the season.  A great dessert for the Holidays, or those special Sunday lunches and dinners. Visually enticing and so delicious served with a topping of fresh whipped cream.

Song of the day: Perfect by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

If someone had told me years ago that I would be making -nonetheless- a Pumpkin Crostata, I would have stared at them in complete disbelief.



No way, not me.

My father has always planted pumpkins, and at the end of Summer, the harvest is plentiful. Different sizes and shapes of pumpkins and squashes to fill the cantina, fridge, and freezer, to gift to family and friends, to end up in risotto dishes, pasta dishes, soups and side dishes. But no pumpkin dessert has ever been made by my Italian family.

Since I’ve been living in Canada, though, I am embracing new flavors and tastes, have tried new foods and experienced different cuisines. Since pumpkin entered my world of sweet things, this Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata might be the best thing I’ve ever done with it.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Why roasting the pumpkin (or any other vegetable/fruit, for that matter)?

Roasting vegetables, and also fruits, brings out a depth of flavor you wouldn’t achieve otherwise. They become slightly charred, the natural sugars caramelize, you have crispy bits among a tender texture. They taste richer and more complex and their flavor is mellow. Moreover, the process of roasting couldn’t be any easier, and, they are also universally pleasurable to eat. Need any more excuses?

We dressed the pumpkin with all the Fall flavors and the result was excellent.

Now we just have to make the pastry to showcase the spiced roasted pumpkin.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

This pastry is tender and flaky and egg-free. A slight adaptation from my other crostata recipes. This is closer to a pie crust but with all the “feels” of a light tart (crostata). The pastry comes in no time in the food processor. Just remember to pulse the ingredients together and not overwork the dough.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin and Ricotta?

When thinking of a filling, I had to add an Italian touch, and ricotta is often present in my baked goods. It screams home to me, it brings familiarity to an otherwise “distant” dessert. But also, it brings creaminess, sweetness, lightness, just what the spiced roasted pumpkin needed to shine.

I love the light golden hue of the pumpkin filling, so different from some other pumpkin pies that are on the darker color. The ricotta for sure lightened the color of the filling up a bit, however seeing that the pumpkin itself is a light golden orange hue, I am going to keep it natural. That is what we do in Italy, natural and simple, with a lot of passion in the mix.

When decorating the top of your crostata, this is where your inner artist comes out. You can do a lattice top or, like I did, use a cookie press and cutter leaf set, keeping it in the Fall theme.

This Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata has a light, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crust. Both the filling and the crust are light and just moderately sweet, so you can enjoy a slice with a nice dollop of fresh whipped cream on top without feeling heavy and full.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Many opportunities from now until Christmas and after to make this Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata. Here in Canada, pumpkin pie seems to grace the table from October to well after the New Year, why not bring a little Italian to your dessert table?

Song of the day: Perfect by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Tarts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Fusion


Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata, a light, creative, Italian-inspired take on a classic pie for the season.  A great dessert for the Holidays, or those special Sunday lunches and dinners. Visually enticing and so delicious served with a topping of fresh whipped cream.


For the short pastry:

  • 270 g all-purpose flour (or type 00)
  • 150 g cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp raw cane sugar
  • 34 Tbsp ice cold water
  • pinch salt

For the pumpkin:

  • 1/2 pumpkin, about 1.5 kg (you will have leftovers)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or any other sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp maple sugar

For the filling:

  • 400 g pureed roasted pumpkin
  • 250 g ricotta
  • 3 Tbsp raw cane sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 egg, organic, free range
  • pinch salt


For the pastry:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor place the flour, add the cubed cold butter and pulse a few times until the butter becomes pebbly. Add the sugar and the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing to blend and stopping before the dough clumps together. Pour mixture from food processor onto a wood board and press mixture into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (I let it rest overnight).

For the pumpkin:

  1. Sprinkle sugar, maple syrup, and spices on the inside of the pumpkin. Place it upside down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375° F (190°C) for about 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. Take out of the oven, scoop the pulp out and puree in a food processor. Let cool. Weigh the required amount, jar the remaining puree.

For the Filling:

  1. In a medium-size bowl work the ricotta with the sugar and the egg. Add the cold pureed pumpkin and pinch of salt and blend until well incorporated.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 28cm (11in) tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Place the dough ball on a well-floured wood board. Flour the rolling pin and start rolling the dough from the inside out, working the dough in each direction to form a nice circle big enough to fit in the tart pan.
  3. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and gently roll it out over the tart pan.
  4. Press the dough at the bottom and up the edges. Use a sharp knife to cut the excess from the circumference.
  5. Prick the bottom with a fork. Spread the pumpkin/ricotta filling on top, leveling with a spatula.
  6. Press leftover dough into a ball again, roll it and cut out shapes for the top decoration.
  7. Place the crostata in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden in color.
  8. Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack.
  9. Serve with fresh whipped cream.


If you leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight (like I did), take the dough out some time before and let it come at room temperature before rolling.

You will have leftover pumpkin puree. You can jar it and use it in the next few days to make scones, muffins, bread, loaves, soup. The other half of the raw pumpkin you can cube it and freeze it to make risotto, pasta, or whatever your heart desires.

Cooking time may vary depending on your oven. Check it frequently after the 30-minute mark. If the filling starts bubbling (ours did), poke it with a skewer.

Store leftover crostata in the refrigerator for 2-3 days (if it lasts that long).

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Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

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  • Avatar
    Reply Maria from She Loves Biscotti November 7, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I also love roasting vegetables Nicoletta… the transformation is nothing short of magical! I love how this pie crust has no eggs… I have pinned to try your version. Thanks for sharing. As usual, great post!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 8, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Thank you so much, Maria! Yes, I know you love roasting vegetables, too 🙂 . That pie crust is so light, it marries well with the light and airy filling.

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena November 9, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I love, love ricotta because it works so well with savory and sweet companions and I am absolutely convinced this recipe is a must try. We still have several pumpkins I can roast, perfect timing, really looking forward to doing so. Really pretty decoration:) Pinned!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 10, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Thank you, Milena! We love ricotta too, as you said in both sweet and savory. In this tart, it gives such a lightness! Let me know how you like it if you make it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Alexa November 14, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Ricotta and pumpkin, yum!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

      So good and light, Alexa! 🙂

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