The Cannoli Shells:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons olive oil or lard
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
The Ricotta Filling:
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese, drained in a strainer with a cheesecloth overnight in the refrigerator
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white rum
1 ounce chopped semisweet chocolate
Chopped pistachios, optional
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. Prepare the cannoli shells: Pulse together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor. Add oil and pulse again about 6 times to mix. Add wine and water and pulse until dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
2. Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, place the drained ricotta and gently mix in the sugar with a rubber spatula. Stir in vanilla, rum and chocolate. Cover and chill.
3. Form the cannoli: Divide the dough in half. Roll 1 piece into a long strip, about 3 inches wide and about 18 inches long. Cut the dough into 3 inch circles and set aside. Repeat with the other half. Re-roll the scraps to make about 6 more disks of dough. Working with the first circles, roll over each one again to make it into an oval about 5 inches long. Place one of the special metal tubes on the dough lengthwise and gently pull one side of the dough around it without stretching. Moisten the top lightly with the egg whites and pull the other side around to meet it. Press hard to seal. Repeat with the remaining circles.
4. Fry the cannoli shells: Pour oil into a 3 quart pan or Dutch oven and heat to 350(F. Fry the cannoli a few at a time, until they are a deep golden brown. Immediately slide the shells off the tubes by gripping one end of the cylinder with tongs and using a mitt-covered hand or paper towel, gently grip the shell and twist and pull at the same time. Cool the shells on paper towels.
5. Immediately before serving, using a pastry bag with no tube on the end, fill the cannoli with the chilled cream. Press chopped pistachios, if desired, against the exposed cream and dust the cannoli lightly with the confectioners' sugar.

Fried tubes, or cannoli, are found all over Sicily, but Nick Malgieri says these classic ricotta-filled ones are typical of Palermo. Special metal tubes are needed for frying cannoli which can be found in kitchen ware and department stores.

Cannoli alla Siciliana (Cannoli with Ricotta Filllng)
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