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Italian Cannoli

  • Yield: 6 large cannoli


  • 15 ounces fresh ricotta cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, chopped
  • 6 large prepared cannoli shells


  • Place a medium colander or strainer inside a large mixing bowl, making sure that the bottom of the colander does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Line the inside of the colander with 1 piece of cheesecloth, folded in half.
  • Place the ricotta cheese inside the cheesecloth and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours to let the excess liquid drain off the ricotta.
  • Remove from the refrigerator. Raise the cheesecloth and ricotta above the bowl and gently squeeze the cheesecloth to remove any excess liquid.
  • Place the ricotta in a medium mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Add the vanilla and chopped chocolate, stirring to combine with a spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a large piping tip, or cut off the bottom corner of a plastic food storage bag and stick the piping tip through the opening (page 23). The filling can also be piped from the bag without a piping tip if you cut a smaller hole. It is best to work quickly with this filling, so that the mixture doesnít get too soft.
  • Using a spoon or rubber spatula, place the ricotta filling inside the bag. Squeeze the filling down toward the tip.
  • Gently squeeze the filling into each end of the cannoli shells.
  • Note: Serve the cannoli before the shells get soggy. Theyíre fine after a few hours in the refrigerator, but itís best to fill them just before serving.