Sicilian Cannoli

  • Serves

    makes about 24


Ricotta impastata, a smoother and drier version of ricotta, is typically used for filling cannoli. This recipe comes from cookbook author Nick Malgieri. This recipe appeared in our March 2011 issue as a part of our special feature, Soul of Sicily


For the Dough

  • 2 12 cups flour
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 5 tbsp. red wine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the Filling

  • 1 lb. ricotta, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined strainer, or ricotta impastata
  • 34 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • Amarena cherries, halved, to garnish
  • Candied orange peel strips, to garnish


Step 1

For the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; add butter and rub it into flour with fingers until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add wine and 2 eggs and mix until dough forms. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead until smooth, 6-8 minutes. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2

Divide dough into quarters; working with one quarter at a time, pass dough through widest setting on pasta roller. Decrease setting by one notch and pass dough through roller; repeat, decreasing width by one level each time, until 1⁄16″ thick. Using a 4″ round cutter, cut out dough and transfer to parchment paper; repeat with remaining dough. Working with one dough circle at a time, wrap dough around a 1″ × 4 3⁄4″ cannoli core, and brush edges with egg white to seal. Repeat with remaining dough; set aside.

Step 3

Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Working in batches, fry cannoli until light brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer cannoli to paper towels to drain; while hot, carefully remove cannoli shell from core and set aside on a wire rack to cool.

Step 4

For the filling: Combine ricotta, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 3⁄4″-wide plain tip. Pipe ricotta mixture into cannoli shells to fill. Garnish each end with a cherry half and orange peel strip.

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