For the Shells:
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp shortening or lard
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp finely ground sea salt
- ¾ cup Marsala wine
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1½ quart vegetable oil
- metal tubes or dowels (6 x ¾ inches, available from gourmet shops)
For the Filling:
- 1 lb ricotta, strained in cheesecloth or coffee filter overnight
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated
- 3 Tbsp chopped citron, optional
- 2 Tbsp crème de cacao
- ½ tsp cinnamon
For the Garnish:
- 2 Tbsp ground raw pistachios
- 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- Optional mini chocolate chips
- Make the Shells: combine the flour, shortening, honey, and salt in a medium bowl, wetting mixture gradually with Marsala wine. Knead with fingers until dough is firm. Shape into ball, cover with cloth and let stand one hour at room temperature.
- Make the filling: combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the pastries: cut dough in half and roll into ¼-inch thick sheets. Cut the dough into 4-inch squares with a sharp knife.
- Place metal tubes diagonally across squares. Wrap dough around each tube by overlapping the two opposite points. Seal points with beaten egg, pressing together with fingers.
- Heat the oil in large pot to 370°. Drop tubes carefully a few at a time into the hot oil. Fry on all sides until shells are a deep golden brown color. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining tubes. Cool completely.
- Fill a pastry bag with cheese filling and pipe filling into ends of shells, or spoon into shell ends. Sprinkle with pistachios confectioner’s sugar, or chocolate chips before serving. Makes 12 servings.