400 g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vinegar
120 ml water (approx)
Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, then mix in the eggs, vinegar and water. Don’t add all the water at once as you may not need it all. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until soft. Cover and set aside as you make the filling.
500 g zitone pasta (10 mm thick)
zest & juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp rum
200 g ground walnuts
150 g ground almonds
100 g dark chocolate, finely grated
250 g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g cold unsalted butter, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the pasta for 7-8 minutes, or according to packet directions. Drain very well. Pour the lemon juice (reserve the zest), oil and rum over the warm pasta and mix it through. Set aside.
Mix the ground walnuts, almonds, chocolate, sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Be the eggs and vanilla together until a little foamy. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 25cm x 10cm springform cake tin and dust with flour.
Roll the pastry into a circle big enough to fit into the base of the prepared tin, up the sides and enough overhang to go down the sides. Carefully lift the rolled pastry into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the nut filling into the base of the pastry-lined tin. Place a single layer of cooked pasta over the top, then sprinkle over more of the nut mixture. Dot with slices of butter. Be generous with the nut mixture as you use it.
Repeat this process with the remaining pasta, nut mixture and butter, gently pressing down as you go. When you get to the top, evenly pour the beaten eggs over the filling. Gather the overhanging pastry over the filling, trimming off any excess. Press the pastry down and try to press out any air pockets you may hear squishing in there.
Rub a little butter over the pastry, place the tin into the oven and bake for 1 hr 15 minutes, or until golden.
Allow to cool in the tin before taking it out.
To serve, turn the cake upside down, generously sprinkle with caster sugar or icing sugar – plus some berries and nuts, if you wish.