Starting at Sicily’s Catania airport, I was in cannoli heaven! I’m not sure why, but it is one of my favorite sweets and not a common menu offering in the States.
What really set cannoli in Sicily apart was having it made with fresh, creamy ricotta inserted into just made shells.
After watching a demonstration of the whole process in Ragusa, I determined that cannoli was doable and would definitely be the dessert for the anticipated Sicilian gourmet gathering.
The first step was ordering these little tubes around which the cannoli dough is wrapped for frying. They allow the shells to hold their shape and to slide off easily once they are done.
Making the shells requires a bit of elbow grease, a pasta maker or rolling pin and a lot of patience. Might I add that’s it more fun with two as there is opportunity for lots of chuckles. All done, there is quite a sense of accomplishment!
Most cannoli has a ricotta based filling that may have such as pistachios, candied fruit or chocolate chips as an added ingredient.
Thinking that everyone would like it, I opted for a filling with chocolate chips and a subtle taste of orange. If there is a best hint for making cannoli, it is to use a pastry tube to fill the shells otherwise it’s a messy process.
OK, there you have it, a perfect ending to a Sicilian dinner. What made it especially fun was the arancini and the cannoli were firsts for some of the diners, and you know how hard it is to introduce new tastes to gourmands.
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