Italian cheesecakes tend to be lighter and a bit dryer than New York style cheesecakes. Maybe it is the ricotta cheese, or that it is less or no cream cheese. And if they use cream cheese it is usually the mascarpone.


  • 8 ounces pistachios, finely chopped
  • 3-5 Tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces (1 container fresh whole milk ricotta cheese, drained well
  • 16 ounces (1 pound) cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional-add 1/4 cup more sugar if not using this)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs


Butter the pan (1 9″spring form) or individual pans (12 2oz tins) well. Sprinkle nuts in pan(s) to coat bottom and sides. Remove excess nuts. Set aside or hold in the refrigerator until needed. To make the filling: Blend drained ricotta cheese and the cream cheese with mixer or food processor until smooth. Mix sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest and add to cheeses; blend. Add honey, (if using), lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust lemon juice or vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time to incorporate. Ladle into tins or pour into pan. Bake 325 for 1 hour–check. Center should be firm to touch but still giggly. Remove to cooling rack and cool 30 minutes before putting into refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.


printable page