A Sicilian staple, cannoli shells are a decadently sweet and creamy treat that will transport across the ocean to the shores of the Mediterranean. Luckily though, you don't actually need to hop on a plane over to Italy to enjoy these delicious ricotta and sugar-filled pastries, not with our homemade cannolis recipe!
In fact, all you're going to need are a few sweet and creamy ingredients (lots of ricotta), plenty of flour, a pasta machine, and oil for frying. Here's our decadent, homemade cannoli shells recipe!
Cannoli shells FAQ
What wine do I need to use for cannoli shells?
You'll have noticed that our recipe uses Marsala wine, which is a very specific type of fortified red wine that's traditionally used to make cannoli dough. Marsala wine originated in Sicily, so it's probably the most authentic wine to use for your homemade cannoli shells!
If you don't have any Marsala wine, however, then other fortified red wines will do the job just as well; they will have a slightly different flavor, however.
Do I have to use a pasta maker for cannoli shells?
A pasta maker really does make your job a whole lot easier when you are rolling out cannoli shells. For the best shells, you need the dough to be super-super thin, or else they just won't be crispy when you deep fry them. It's hard to achieve this level of thinness without a pasta maker.
Of course, if you don't have a pasta maker, you have to make do with the rolling pin or wine bottle. Another option, of course, is finding pre-made cannoli shells in your local supermarket (although this is definitely cheating!).
Do I need to refrigerate cannoli shells?
Once you've fried your cannoli shells, they should keep for up to a week. You don't need to refrigerate them, just keep them at room temperature in a sealed box.
If you're making your ricotta filling in advance, this does need to be kept in the fridge. Store it in a sealed container and try to use it within three days, or it could start to go off.
Do I have to use a ricotta filling?
Just as we use Marsala wine for authenticity, we also use ricotta in the recipe to make it more authentic. Ricotta cheese is the traditional filling, and to be honest, we love how creamy it is.
If you're not a fan of ricotta, then you can fill your cannoli shells with many more fillings too. Mascarpone cheese works well (baked cannoli shells with mascarpone are particularly delicious), or you could even get creative and try a savory filling!
Save the rest of your cannoli shells for later!
Canoli shells are super rich and super creamy, so you might want to save a few of your delicious homemade pastries for later (it's tough, though, we know)! You can also save our homemade cannoli shells recipe for later, too, by bookmarking our cookery guide.
Cannoli shells are deliciously sweet and undeniably decadent, so there's no way you won't be returning to this recipe again in the future!
Want to learn more? Check out our detailed guide on how to prepare delicious homemade pasta.
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