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Holy Cannoli!

Our Tuesday Lunch this week was an homage to food from the classic Sicilian Nonna’s kitchen – from the baked ziti right down to the cannolis for dessert. If you’d like to recreate the cannolis at home, try Chef Sandy’s recipe below. (If you decide to use store-bought shells and fill them yourself, no worries. We won’t tell.)

CannoliMy Godmother Lee’s Cannoli Shells

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time 3 to 4 minutes


  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup shortening (Crisco)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 quart oil, for frying

Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Work shortening into sifted mixture until crumbly, add milk, water and whiskey. Roll down as thin as paper (possibly about 1/16 – inch thick) Cut a 3 ½ to 5-inch circle wrap dough around Cannoli tube. (Found in specialty stores or online). Seal with egg white.

Heat skillet or fryer with oil to 350 degrees. Fry 2 to 3 at a time until golden brown (about 3 to 4 minutes). Remove with tongs and drain on paper towel. Carefully remove from tube while still hot or they may stick to tube. These can be stored in layers on wax paper for 1 to 2 months in a cool dark dry space.

Makes about 48 shells.

Ricotta Filling for Cannoli

Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds Ricotta cheese, well drained
  • ¼ cup Maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup chocolate (milk, dark, or semi-sweet) chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup crushed pistachios (optional)

Beat heavy whipping cream with ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff.

Beat Ricotta adding remaining confectioner’s sugar gradually until smooth. Do not over beat.   Fold in cherries, chocolate, almonds and whipped cream into ricotta mixture.

Fill cannoli shells immediately before serving and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Dip each end in crushed pistachios (optional).

Serves 24


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