Savoury cannoli with Parma Ham mousse

  • Antipasto
  • Makes 16 cannoli
  • 45 minutes
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Emilia-Romagna meets Sicily in this savoury cannoli recipe. The crisp pastry shells are filled with a silky Parma Ham and ricotta mousse before being garnished with capers, resulting in a delicious twist on the traditionally sweet Sicilian classic.

First published in 2019

This is a fusion recipe where north meets south. It combines some of northern Italy’s most prized ingredients – Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – and presents them in the form of the classic Sicilian pastry, the cannolo. They are perfect served at a cocktail party or as a starter and can be eaten with your fingers or a fork accordingly. They are a real taste of Emilia-Romagna, with a twist!




  • 250g of 00 flour
  • 2g of salt
  • 30g of lard
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 60ml of dry white wine
  • 250g of Parma ham
  • 500g of ricotta
  • 1l peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 handful of capers, chopped


  • Cannoli moulds


Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the lard and rub it into the flour with your fingers until it forms a breadcrumb-like texture
Add the Parmesan and mix thoroughly
Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the egg and the wine. Bring the mixture together with a fork, then knead with your hands to make a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for two hours
Meanwhile, put the Parma Ham in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped
Add the ricotta cheese and blitz until combined. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use
Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s as thin as you can get it – about 1.5mm
Using a round cutter, cut the dough into circles a little shorter than your cannoli moulds (you should get approximately 16)
Pull the two sides of the circles until they form ovals the same length as your cannoli moulds. Wrap them around the moulds and press firmly on the overlap to seal
Heat the oil in a large, deep pan to 180°C
Carefully lower each cannolo into the oil using a slotted spoon. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute
Remove from the oil and leave to dry on kitchen towels. Remove the mould carefully as soon as it is cool enough. If you're dropping them into cold water to cool them down quickly, ensure they are completely dry before lowering into the oil again, otherwise it will splutter. Continue until all the dough has been used and you're left with 16 cannolo shells
Pipe the Parma Ham and cheese mixture into both ends of each cannolo. Garnish each end of the cannolo with chopped capers and serve
First published in 2019

Luca Marchiori is a food writer, recipe developer and food historian. His blog Luca’s Italy is all about discovering authentic Italian food and sharing the recipes that Italians really eat.

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