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Cannoli Farciti -- Stuffed Cannoli

Most cannoli are sweet, the glorious ricotta-filled Sicilian Carnival pastries. Not all, however, this savory cannolo recipe is from Cavalcanti, the great 19th century Neapolitan gastronome; Caròla Francesconi presents a version adjusted by Rosetta Nitti in her wonderful La Cucina Napoletana. It will serve 6, and will be a delightful part of a platter of mixed fried foods for a larger party.

To begin with, for the cannolo shells:
3 cups (300 g) flour
2/3 cup (60 g) unsalted butter or rendered lard
2 egg yolks, and 1 white, the latter whipped
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Olive oil for frying (or corn oil; you'll want 4 inches, 10 cm, in the pot)
Cannolo forms
And for the filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces (200 g) lean pork
2 ounces (50 g) chicken livers
2 ounces (50 g) prosciutto
1/2 cup dry white wine
Broth (bullion will work), boiling
1/4 cup flour mixed into 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Fresh parsley, marjoram, and thyme
2 egg yolks
1 egg white, whipped to firm peaks
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 an ounce (10 g) finely shaved black truffles (optional)

Cannolo shellsBegin by preparing the dough: combine all the ingredients except the white, working the mixture well and keeping it firm, and then work in the white, and let it rest a half hour. Roll the dough out to the thickness of a nickel (a mm or so), and cut it into 12 3.25-inch-on-a-side (8 cm) squares. Roll the squares up around lightly greased cannolo forms, tamping them down gently so they stay rolled, and fry them a few at a time in hot oil until they become a pretty mahogany color, about 4 minutes. Drain them on absorbent paper, and carefully slip them free, lest they break. Keep them warm.

Now see to the filling: Grind the meat, butter, prosciutto, liver, herbs, and truffle, if you're using it, so as to obtain a creamy paste (a blender in short bursts would work here), which you will want to sauté gently, sprinkling with wine and/or water lest it dry out, until it is done. When it is just shy of being cooked, stir in the ball of butter and flour, and make the mixture puff up by adding a little boiling broth.

Remove the mixture from the stove, and when it has cooled somewhat beat the yolks and add them, then whip the white and fold it in. Cook the mixture for a few minutes over a very low flame, stirring gently, and then stuff the cannoli shells with it. Serve at once.

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