“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cannoli Siciliani (Sicilian Cannoli)

I don't even know how to describe my love for these little treasures.  For me when I eat them they remind of many fond childhood memories.  To this day, not only do I eat them with fondness and  nostalgia, I truly enjoy the flavour.  The crisp outer pastry filled with creamy ricotta mixed with tangy fruit peel, nuts and chocolate is truly a wondrous combination. There is nothing more Sicilian than "cannoli" however each household varies the ingredients slightly (some omit the nuts and fruit peel).  Today I am sharing with you a recipe that I hold close to my heart, and a recipe I helped make on many occasions with my boyfriends Nonna!  I had barley more than a few euros in my pocket on my first trip to Sicily many years ago, however I made sure I bought myself a 'cannoli'.  It did not disappoint! The streets in Sicily are lined with pastry shops selling mountains of 'cannoli' decorated in various ways, all as equally beautiful and colourful.  To me eating a 'cannolo' is a symbol of family, celebration and love and needs to be shared with others. Although lengthy to prepare they are actually quite simple to make and so rewarding.    Enjoy with a nice strong coffee or a glass of sweet desert wine (although sometimes we would have grappa)!
What you need:
To make the cannoli:
250g white flour tipo 00
30g white wine vinegar
30g marsala wine
30g icing sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
5g cocoa powder
one egg
50g lard
For the filling:
750g ricotta cheese
300g icing sugar
1/4 cup candied mixed orange peel
1/4 cup pistachio nuts chopped
75g 70% cocoa dark chocolate finely chopped

Peanut oil for frying
How to make:
1:  Sift flour, icing sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa into a large bowl, make a well in the centre.
2: Add lard  to the centre of flour combination and mix in with finger tips.  Pour in the marsala and white wine vinegar, use finger tips to combine, then transfer to bench top and lightly knead together.  Once kneaded to a ball, wrap in cling wrap and place n fridge for 1/2 hour.
3: To prepare the ricotta mix place the ricotta in sieve and push through with a metal spoon.  This will help give the ricotta a creamier texture.  Sift and stir through icing sugar.
4: Add the chopped fruit peel, chopped nuts and chocolate to ricotta mix.  Place in fridge until ready to use.
5: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough as thin as possible.  Use a large round cutter to cut roughly 16 circles.
6: Take one circle and wrap around a metal "cannoli" tube.  Use a little milk wash to join overlapping dough.  Continue process until all circles have been wrapped (or take in turns depending on how many "cannoli" tubes you own).
7: Place 4 'cannoli" tubes into pre-heated peanut oil for approximately 1-2 minutes.  Remove dough from metal tubes and allow to cool on absorbent paper.  Be careful of your hands, the tubes will be extremely hot
8: Once all of the "cannoli" have been cooked and cooled use a piping bag to fill the "cannoli" with the ricotta mix.
9: Finally to decorate place one glazed cherry at one end and a thinly sliced orange peel at the other.  Alternatively, you can  dip in finely chopped chocolate or pistachio nuts.
10: Dust lightly with icing sugar
Buon Apetito!


  1. Marybeth, I look forward to making them for you hopefully in a few weeks in Viareggio! I made these again on Easter Monday and eyeballs were rolling at the table in heavenly delight!