Sicilian Pizza Cannoli

First Place Prize-Winning, Pizza Cannoli

What in the World is a Pizza Cannoli??

Whenever there is a pizza contest, I get so excited because I get a chance to use my skills acquired from the “real deals” in Napoli, Itay,  and my most recent experience in Tuscany last summer.  I was SOOOO excited to stretch my brain to it’s outer-limits, and I knew I wanted to do something way outside the ‘pizza box, ” and being  Italian American, myself, I wanted to put a spin on something quintessentially Italian: cannoli. Living in Brooklyn, NY, you’ll quickly notice that people ALWAYS fold, or roll, their pizza over to eat it. That’s the ONLY way to eat your pizza! 

So, from that, I thought, why not??   A pizza cannoli! But, using pizza dough, instead of the original pastry dough for the typical Sicilian cannoli!!  And, you know what, paisanos?? They were SO easy to make!   Who says a pizza has to be flat?? So, sink your teeth into one of these crispy pizza cannoli, and fuhhhgetttaboutit! (That’s my Donnie Brasco impersonation…how’d I do?)   Delizioso!!
  Pronto, tutti? Facciamo la Pizza Cannoli!  ~ Ready, everybody? Let’s make pizza Cannoli!
Serve with marinara, pesto, or reduced balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bag of raw pizza dough, from  local pizzeria
  • 2-3 cups of canola oil
  • 6 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 pound of smoked provolone cheese (sliced)
  • 9 slices of prosciutto (very thin and cut in half)
  • 8 ounces of ricotta cheese (drained)
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/4 cup of pistachio nuts (finely crushed, for garnish)
  • 8 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce, or basil oil for dipping
  • All purpose flour and semolina flour for dusting

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Cannoli forms, Candy thermometer, parchment paper, pizza stone

MAKES 18 Pizza Cannoli
Fool-Proof, Step-by-Step Directions:

1.) Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat oven to 550 degrees.

2.) Take raw pizza dough out of the bag, and place in a large bowl with a towel over it so it can rise again.  After about an hour, the dough should have doubled in size and is ready to roll out.

3.) Pull out a piece of dough, about the size of a ping pong ball and roll out a circle (about 4-inch diameter), and roll around the cannoli form. Make sure to blend the seam, or it will loosen in the hot oil. Before frying, roll each cannoli shell in a little semolina flour. This will give it a very crispy crunch to the pizza dough, like the crispy bottom of a wood fired pizza.  (If you don’t have semolina flour, you may substitute a very fine cornmeal, or polenta)
4.) With tongs, carefully drop the cannoli into 325 degree canola oil for about 60-90 seconds.  Remember, you are going to bake these once they are filled, so you don’t want them to get too brown.
5.) They color should be a light golden blonde, like these.  Place on a paper-towel lined baking rack to cool.
6. & 7.)  Tightly roll a piece of prosciutto and smoked provolone cheese in preparation for stuffing the cannoli.

TIP:  You may also want to use mozzarella cheese stick, as they are an ideal size for stuffing (you may trim to size) . Also, experiment with different fillings. The possibilities are endless!

8.) Once you have a bunch stuffed, now, you are ready to rock-n-roll! 
9.)  Place on pizza stone and bake for about 3 minutes, or until desired golden goodness.  They will bake very quickly, so watch them!
TIP: Depending on how soft or hard the cheese is that you used, the cheese may ooze out of the cannoli shell slightly, so adjust amounts accordingly.  Also, using parchment paper on top of the pizza stone, keeps any oozing cheese in tact, and can be scooped back into the shell. 
 10.) To prepare ricotta end caps for cannoli, simply add  heavy cream and Pecorino Romano grated cheese to ricoota cheese (in a medium bowl) and stir to thoroughly incorporate
 11.) Transfer ricotta mixture to a star-tipped piping bag
12.)  After cannoli have cooled slightly, pipe a dollop of ricotta cream on both ends of each cannoli and sprinkle with crushed pistachio nuts.
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce, basil oil, reduced balsamic syrup, etc…

 Che Bella!

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