Sicilian Cannoli

Pasticceria Papa’s Head Chef Alessandro Papa, known as Ale to his peers, started his career at the early age of 14 in Italy, studying all things hospitality for four years, including learning the art of pastry and ice-cream. It was here that he built the foundations which would lead him to making one of Sydney’s most talked about desserts, their Ricotta Cannoli. For over twenty years now, Ale has been leading the pastry team at Pasticceria Papa, instrumental in creating new products and flavour combinations that keep Sydney-siders coming back for more.

This is an outlook instilled in Anthony by his grandparents; especially his “nonni” who grew all their vegies in the backyard garden, and made all their bread and pasta by hand.

Sicilian Cannoli


Sunflower Oil, for deep-frying
1 Egg, beaten
Icing sugar, to dust


10g Vegetable shortening or lard, melted
100g Plain Flour, plus extra
1 Egg yolk
15g Icing Sugar, plus extra to dust
1 tablespoon Red Wine
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 pinch of ground Cinnamon
Zest of Lemon


200g Fresh Ricotta
50g Caster Sugar
100g Choc Chips
30g Crushed Pistachios


Start this recipe the day before serving. Ensure you have Cannoli forms; these are used to hold the pastry in shape while the cannoli fry. For the pastry, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or use a stand mixer to form a dough. Remove from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the refrigerator overnight.


For the filling, whisk the ricotta and sugar together for 2 minutes until smooth, then lightly fold in the choc chips. Spoon into a piping bag and chill in the refrigerator.


Preheat a deep fryer or large saucepan of oil to 180 degrees. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1mm thick, and cut out ten 10cm circles. Brush the eggs with beaten egg wash. Wrap the pastry around the cannoli forms and fry for 1-1 1/2 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking, until a dark blonde colour. Drain on a paper towel and remove the cannoli forms.


Pipe the filling from one end to the centre, then repeat from the other end, then dip each end in the ground pistachios. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.


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