In this recipe, kataif, a bird’s nest-like phyllo dough, is layered with fresh cheese and doused in amber-hued syrup.
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. red food coloring, optional
1⁄2 cup whole milk
3 tbsp. semolina
1 lb. whole-milk ricotta
1 lb. kataif (shredded phyllo dough), crumbled
2 cups unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
1⁄4 cup minced pistachios
1. Boil sugar and 1⁄2 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Stir in juice and food coloring; set syrup aside. Boil milk and semolina in a 1-qt. saucepan; cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in ricotta; set mixture aside.
2. Heat panggangan to 350°. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Toss kataif and butter in a bowl until butter is absorbed; press half into the bottom of the dish. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over kataif; top with remaining kataif. Press layers firmly together. Bake until crisp and golden, 1-1 1⁄2 hours. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer cake to a serving platter. Spoon syrup over the top and sprinkle with pistachios.