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cannoli di ricotta 
or coppatedde for a simple country version 

for the pastry shells 

1 cup flour 

2 T sugar

2 T extra virgin olive oil 

2 T Marsala or white wine

1 T strong coffee

1 egg yolk 

for the filling

1 lb ricotta

up to 1/2 lb sugar (or to taste)

flavoring options: cinnamon to taste, lemon zest  (lots of it says aunt Francesca who gave me this recipe), finely chopped zuccata (candied cucuzza squash) 

for decorating

candied cherries

pistachios chopped finely

powdered sugar


Cannoli are called cannoli when their shells are formed by wrapping the dough around a piece of canna (these days a metal tool has replaced the typical piece of cane or bamboo) and then frying them to make a tube-like shell. In the Sicilian countryside Aunt Francesca makes an alternate sandwich version called coppadtedde.

for the pastry shells 

Mix the liquids with the sugar and then stir in the flour. Mix well and knead to form a ball adding flour if the dough is too sticky, adding Marsala if the dough is too dry. It should be the consistency more or less of pasta dough. Roll through a pasta machine or use a rolling pin, folding and turning several times, to make thin sheets of dough (about 1/8 inch thick, not transparent) and prick with a fork. 

For the tube shells, cut the dough into 10cm / 4 in squares and wrap around the cannoli tubes  fixing the overlap with an egg wash, fry in hot oil (170-180C / 325-350F) until they are a dark golden color, drain on paper towels.

For the coppatedde use a glass or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles about 7.5 cm / 3 in in diameter, fry in hot olive oil until dark and golden, drain on paper towels.


for the filling

Beat the ricotta with the sugar, or pass the ricotta through a sieve and mix it with sugar, it should be very creamy. 

Stir in the lemon zest or which ever flavoring you choose. 

Most traditional recipes for cannoli filling use zuccata (the light green candied squash) or candied citron, but fresh lemon  zest is the better option if you haven’t made zuccata lately since most store-bought versions of candied fruit taste medicinal; if you can get good candied fruit use it, otherwise use lemon zest or cinnamon. 


Assemble right before serving otherwise they will get soggy. For cannoli use a sac à poche to fill the pastry tubes, dip the ends in chopped pistachios or decorate with candied fruit, sprinkle with powdered sugar.  For the coppetedde spread the ricotta cream on one side of one of the little pastry cups, top with another pastry cup, roll the edges in finely chopped pistachios and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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