Makes 40 cannoli, serves 10 as a first course.
For the purée:
- 1 ¼ cups shucked fresh fava beans, outer skins still on (about 2 pounds when in the pods)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups Bellwether Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, or whole cow’s milk ricotta, drained
- 1 ½ ounces Bellwether Pecorino Pepato, very finely grated
- ½ teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
For the shells:
- 40 fresh egg roll wrappers (available at most supermarkets and Asian markets)
- 1 egg
- 4 cups vegetable oil
To prepare the filling:
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the
favas and blanch for three minutes, or until deep green through. Drain the favas and immerse them in the ice bath
for 5 minutes. Peel the outer skins by nicking the skin with your fingernail and squeezing the beans out into the bowl
of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Pulse the processor until the beans are very fine, scraping down
the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the olive oil and continue to pulse until the paste is very smooth. Add
the ricotta, one half of the pecorino pepato and lemon zest and process to combine fully, but do not overmix. Season
with salt and sugar to taste, and transfer the mixture to a plastic piping bag. Refrigerate for up to three days, or freeze
the mixture in the piping bag for up to one month.
To prepare the shells:
Pour the oil into a 3-quart saucepan and heat to 325˚ Fahrenheit over medium heat. While the oil is
heating, trim the wrappers into 2” by 2” squares. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Starting with one corner, roll each wrapper
around a cannoli form or dowel. Dab your finger into the egg wash, and moisten the trailing corner before overlapping.
Press firmly to seal. Repeat with the remaining forms, and then carefully lower the shells into the oil with a large slotted
spoon. Fry the shells for 2 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels
until cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the shells and arrange on a baking tray lined with dry paper towels. Repeat
as necessary with the remaining wrappers.
Note: Use either small metal cannoli forms or wooden dowels to fry these shells. We use 3/8-inch maple dowels cut to 3-inch
lengths. We wrap each dowel with a six-inch square of heavy-gauge aluminum foil, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper, to provide a
non-porous surface that release the shells easily.
To assemble: Cut a 3/8-inch tip on the piping bag and pipe the filling into each shell. Arrange the finished cannoli on a
plate and sprinkle lightly with the reserved pecorino pepato.
Note: The purée freezes quite well for up to a month, and can be used as a simple spread for crostini, if you don’t wish to fry the
shells. We also use this purée as a stuffing for ravioli, cannelloni, and other fresh pastas.