Cannoli originated in Sicily, at the southern tip of Italy. Kind of like an Italian cheesecake in a tube, it is an essential part of Sicilian culture. Throughout the years cannoli has become as popular in America as they are in Italy.
Cannoli has two parts—the tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough and a filling of sweet, creamy flavored ricotta. Cannoli range in size from "cannulicchi," no bigger than a little finger, to large diameter, cigar-sized proportions.
My recipe adds chocolate flavor to the traditional ricotta cream filling. While they take about an hour or so to make they’re certainly worth it as a finale to a simple bowl of meatballs and spaghetti or a great Italian culinary feast. Wow! Now that’s Italian!
For the Shells:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white (large egg)
3/4 cup red wine (inexpensive Chianti will do nicely)
1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying
For the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, candied orange peel
1/4 cup rough chopped, roasted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup ground, roasted pistachio nuts
To Make the Cannoli Shells:
To Make the Cannoli Filling:
ChefSecrets: The shells can be made a day or two ahead of time and held in an air tight container. For a creamier filling, replace 8 Oz. of the ricotta cheese with 8 Oz. of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese.