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Kanafe with Ricotta and Shredded Phyllo

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Samantha Ferraro


  • 1-16 oz package of kataif shredded phyllo
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp saffron water optional
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 16 oz full fat ricotta cheese drained in colander for at least 30 minutes
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish

Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large peels of orange zest
  • 2 large peels of lemon zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tb orange blossom water


  • First, drain ricotta. This can be done a day ahead if time allows. Place ricotta in a sieve with cheesecloth and over a bowl to allow any excess liquid to drain out, making for a thicker cheese
  • Then, make the simple syrup. In a small pot, add all the simple syrup ingredients and stir together. ring to a gentle boil and allow to cool for about 10 minutes until sugar dissolves and gets a bit thicker like a syrup. Take off heat, remove the aromatics and allow to cool while making the rest of dish.
  • Take the shredded phyllo and pulse in food processor a bit (may have to do this in batches) so the phyllo breaks up a bit. Pour in about half of the melted butter (and optional saffron water) and continue with the rest f the shredded phyllo so butter coats all of the phylllo.
  • Then, take half of phyllo and press into a large buttered dish (I used my tart pan).
  • Add shredded mozzarella and drained ricotta and top with the other half of phyllo, carefully pressing it everything together.
  • Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until top is golden brown and firm. Once kanafe is done, remove from oven and slowly pour syrup over the top. Allow to sit for at last 10 minutes so syrup can soak in.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios.