Savory Cannoli with ricotta and pistachios is an exquisite dish that effortlessly blends the Italian tradition of cannoli with a savory twist, creating a culinary masterpiece that will tantalize the most demanding food lovers.
Cannoli, a beloved Italian pastry, is typically associated with sweet fillings. But this modern twist embraces the savory side of gastronomy.
Imagine a delicate and crispy cannoli shell made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese encasing a rich and creamy ricotta filling, punctuated by the delicious crunch of pistachios.
This combination of flavors is truly a match made in culinary heaven!
The preparation of the Parmesan cannoli shells is a bit tricky! In fact, you have to make them very quickly and carefully, as we will show you. But trust us, the results will be well worth the effort!
Whether served as an appetizer, a sophisticated party snack, or a delightful addition to a culinary adventure, these savory cannoli with ricotta and pistachios will captivate and enchant anyone lucky enough to experience them!
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 10 Min
- Servings: 6 cannoli
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
To make Savory Cannoli, first you need a grater. Of course, you can also use bagged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. But the freshness and quality of the ingredients are key to the success of the recipe. Therefore, we always recommend to use a whole piece of Parmigiano Reggiano and to grate it according to your needs.
A good quality non-stick pan is essential for making the Parmesan cannoli.
Then you will need a silicone spatula to turn and remove the Parmigiano waffles from the pan without scratching it.
Use handy nonstick cannoli molds to shape the cannoli shells.
Finally, a pastry bag is essential for filling the cannoli. Cannoli made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are very delicate and without a pastry bag you risk breaking them when filling them!
How to Make Savory Cannoli Recipe: Instructions
How to Make Parmesan Cannoli
Step 1) – First grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese needed to make the cannoli.
Of course, you can use bags of already grated Parmigiano Reggiano. But remember that freshness and high quality ingredients are always the basis for successful recipes!
Step 2) – Take a non-stick frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Add three tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese to the hot pan.
Use the back of a spoon to spread and flatten the cheese into disks about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter.
It’s not necessary to grease the pan with oil or butter. In fact, Parmigiano will release its fat as soon as it comes in contact with heat.
Turn up the heat and cook until the edges begin to darken. This should take no more than ONE MINUTE.
Step 3) – Using a silicone spatula, remove the waffle and place it on a plate.
Immediately wrap the waffle around the cannoli mold.
Step 4) – Finally, seal the joint well. Be careful not to burn and set the cannoli aside to cool.
Repeat for all the other cannoli.
VERY IMPORTANT: This should be done very quickly because the waffles should not be allowed to cool before you give them the cannoli shape. In fact, when they cool, they become crispy and break easily and it would not be possible to roll them.
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU WORK VERY QUICKLY AND MAKE ONE CANNOLI AT A TIME.
How to Make Savory Cannoli Filling
Step 5) – Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl and mix well to make it creamy.
Then add a grind of black pepper and the grated zest of half an organic lemon.
PLEASE NOTE: If you like, you can add a tablespoon of chopped herbs to taste. For example, basil, parsley, or chives work well.
Step 6) – Prepare a pastry bag with a large hole tip and fill with the ricotta cream.
Step 7) – Fill the savory parmesan cannoli with the ricotta cream, taking care not to break them as they are very delicate.
Finish the dish by garnishing the two ends with pistachio granules.
PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to let the cannoli cool completely before filling. The heat of the cannoli could make the ricotta too soft, which must be cold and firm.
Now you can serve these savory cannoli and enjoy them in all their fragrance! They are perfect for an appetizer buffet or for a party with friends.
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How to Store Savory Cannoli
You can store empty Savory Cannoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Once filled, we recommend that you eat them immediately. In fact, the moisture from the filling will make the cannoli soft and not as crunchy as when they were just made.
For this reason, it’s best to stuff them just before serving.
You can prepare both the cannoli shells and the filling the day before.
Baked Parmesan Cannoli Shells
Many people make Parmesan wafers in the oven.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and arrange the grated Parmigiano cheese well spaced in rows.
Bake at 200°C (390°F) for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
When cooked, remove the wafers from the oven and transfer the sheet of baking paper to a work surface.
Place the cannoli mold on top of each waffle and roll them while they are still hot, using the parchment paper to help.
This method allows you to make several cannoli shells at once. But, as you can guess, it requires a lot of speed to shape the cannoli before the Parmigiano start to cool.
Here are Some Variations of Savory Cannoli Shells
You can modify this recipe to suit your taste.
You can use Pecorino Romano instead of Parmigiano for a stronger flavor. Or you can make a mix of Parmigiano and Pecorino.
To add crunch and color, you can add poppy seeds or sesame seeds to the grated cheese.
Here are Some Variations for the Savory Cannoli Filling
For the filling, we chose ricotta simply flavored with pepper and lemon zest and herbs to taste. The most suitable herbs are basil, mint, parsley and chives.
You can also leave the ricotta plain for a milder flavor, or season it with different spices. For example, you can add a little paprika or saffron for a touch of color.
Salty Ham Cannoli
You can also choose a filling without ricotta cheese. For example, you can use ham or tuna mousse or other types of fresh cheese.
Salty Cannoli with Mascarpone and Gorgonzola Cheese
Very good and suitable for a winter dinner is a filling made with gorgonzola and mascarpone cream cheese. In this case, we recommend using hazelnuts instead of pistachios.
Savory Cannoli Mignon
You can use smaller cannoli molds to make savory cannoli mignon. Of course, you will need to use smaller portions of grated Parmigiano cheese.