Veniero's Italian Ricotta Cheesecake and Pignoli Cookies Recipes

March 17, 2006 — -- With ABC News' "Eat and Greet," you can play video in your kitchen and have the best chefs in the country teach you how to make their divine recipes. To bake along with us, stop and start the streaming video for step-by-step instructions.

On this week's "Eat and Greet," ABC News' Marysol Castro went inside New York's century-old Veniero's pastry shop to bring you executive baker Carmelo Borgognone's recipe for Italian Ricotta Cheesecake and Pignoli cookies. You can find both those recipes below.

Veniero's Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

The difference between Italian cheesecake and traditional cheesecake is the choice of cheese used in the filling. Italian cheesecake is made with ricotta cheese, whereas traditional variations use classic cream cheese to create a different filling consistency.

Part #1: Preparing the Pasta Frolla dough crust

Pasta Frolla Dough Ingredients:

1 lb. cake flour

4 oz. sugar

4 oz. cooking shortening

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together to create a tacky, soft texture.

Knead the dough with a sprinkling of cake flour on a hard, flat surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼-inch-thick circle. Place the rolled dough over the pan and mold along bottom and sides. Remove excess dough from edges.

Part #2: Making the cheesecake filling

Ingredients: 3 lb. container of ricotta cheese

1 lb. powdered sugar

Pinch of vanilla flavor

6 eggs

Mix all ingredients together with a spoon until blended smoothly. Pour filling into pan and cook in preheated oven at 375 F for 40 minutes or until top of cheesecake is golden brown.

Veniero's Pignoli Cookies


1 lb. almond paste

½ lb. sugar

3-4 eggs

Pignoli nuts

Combine almond paste, sugar and eggs. Roll into large log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Break log into approximately 2-inch balls and garnish with pignoli nuts.

Yields 36 cookies

On a greased pan, bake the cookies at 375 F for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Freeze any uneaten cookies for a future date.