Ricotta and Apricot Panettone

Over the centuries, panettone has become a regular fixture on the dining tables of Italian families over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Derived from the term pan de ton (or “bread of luxury”), panettone is sweetened, buttery bread that has a cake-like texture. It is traditionally stuffed with raisins, candied citrus fruit, and lemon zest but modern iterations often substitute these ingredients for chocolate chips and vanilla fillings.

At Laikon, we stock some of the best Italian panettone brands. Operating since 1930, Flamigni is a family-owned pastry enterprise from Forlì that takes great pride in using the freshest ingredients and baking each item by hand. Gilber is a newer enterprise, setting up shop in 1965 in Turin and quickly gaining fame around the world for its Piemontese panettone with hazelnut and almond icing.

Drop by Laikon to pick up one of our panettones and give this delectable ricotta and apricot recipe a go.


1 900 gm panettone

600 gm fresh ricotta

50 gm bitter dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

50 gm candied orange, finely chopped

50 gm blanched almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped

1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

2 tbsp Cointreau

4 dried apricots, halved, cut into thin wedges


1. Finely cut the top of the panettone widthways and keep it aside; you do not require it for this recipe. Continue to cut the panettone widthways into four thick slices.

2. Knead ricotta through a sieve and into a bowl. Add chocolate, candied orange, almonds, icing sugar and a tablespoon of Cointreau and mix well.

3. Spread ricotta mixture over each layer of the panettone as well as the top. Combine apricots with a dollop of remaining Cointreau and place on top of the panettone. Serve finished cake in wedges.


Prawn Saganaki with Gnocchetti Sardi

Prawn Saganaki with GnochettiSardi

Gnochetti, or malloreddus,is a Sardinian pasta recognised by its concave shape and ribbed texture. Made from durum wheat semolina, they are an excellent alternative to try in your next pasta dish. In fact, this Prawn Saganaki with GnochettiSardi is the best way to get acquainted!

Celebrate spring with this vibrant, generous meal bursting with herbs, juicy prawns and cherry tomatoes. This is a dinner party pleaser and a tasty new method for cooking pasta – you’ll be cooking the gnochetti in tomAtoes and wine, rather than just dropping it into salted boiling water.



3tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced lengthways
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red chilli thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
1tsp dried Greek oregano
4 or 5 thyme leaves
1 cup GnochettiSardi or any other small sized pasta
2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
250g Greek feta
500g Australian banana prawns
Dill sprigs for garnish
Lemon wedges
Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat an oven to 220C.
  2. Heat olive oil, garlic,onion and thyme in ovenproof casserole dish until onions have softened but not coloured (about 10 to15 minutes).
  3. Deglaze dish with wine and reduce for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add chilli, bay leaves, tomatoes, oregano and pasta and season to taste. Simmer on medium heat and reduce until the sauce thickens and pasta is al dente (about 10 minutes).
  5. Scatter prawns over dish and push into the sauce so that they are submerged. Stir through green peas then scatter the feta over the top of the dish.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 to15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the prawns have cooked through.
  7. Scatter the fresh dill and lemon wedges over the dish, season to taste, and serve with a fresh garden salad.


Laikon’s Famous Pastitsio


This home-style recipe is a Mediterranean favourite. Think of it as macaroni cheese meets lasagne – an irresistible combo!

There are two classic cheeses in this dish, both available from the Laikon counter.

  • Mizithra is a firm Greek cheese made from a blend of cow, goat and sheep milk and often used like a Greek version of Pamesan. It is similar to the Italian Ricotta Salata.
  • The hard cheese we use is Kefalograviera. It’s excellent combined in béchamel and makes for a great saganaki too.

We like to use San Marzano tomatoes, because they’re sweeter and less acidic than the other heirloom plum varieties.Try them yourself, and you’ll see it’s the perfect partner to the dish’s seasoned ground beef.

Take your time with this recipe and enjoy the process. Bake the Pastitsio until golden brown and serve with a seasonal fresh salad and a quality bottle of red.

Pastitsio Serves about 4-6
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, grated
500g minced beef
1 cup San Marzano tomatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
A pinch of cinnamon
3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Salt& pepper to taste
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup Mizithra cheese
300g Misco macaroni No. 2 Pasta
5 tbs melted butter, and a bit extra for brushing
3 tbs breadcrumbs
2 cups Kefalograviera cheese
3 cups béchamel sauce (recipe below)
A pinch of grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 180c. Brush a medium sized dish with melted butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.Increase heat to medium and add the minced beef. Cook for about 15 minutes until lightly browned, breaking up with the back of a fork.

Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon and parsley and season with salt and pepper.Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 mins. Remove from heat when the liquid has reduced.Fold in egg white and 1/2 cup Mizithra.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook to packet instructions. Drain and toss with the melted butter. Allow to cool,then stir in the Kefalograviera.

Make the béchamel sauce (see recipe below). Fold the egg yolks and remaining cheese into the béchamel sauce, season with salt and pepper and stir in the nutmeg.

Line the base of the dish with half the pasta mixture and spread the meat mixture on top.Cover with remaining pasta and pour the béchamel sauce over.

Bake for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown.Let the dish stand for about 15 mins before serving.

Béchamel Sauce
3 cup milk 6 tbs butter
6 tbs plain flour
A few pinches of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the milk into a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently for about one minute.

Remove pan from the heat and gradually pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly until the mixture is nice and smooth.

Return the sauce to stovetop and rise to a medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly for a bout 10 mins.Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg and season to taste.

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