Italy meets fall with these mini Pumpkin Cannolis, which are made easier with pre-made cannoli shells.
I am so smitten over living in the city right now. Gone are the days where I have to drive 45 minutes over the mountain and through a bunch of small towns, just to do most of my shopping. The days where if I got stuck behind a truck or slow-moving car, I was stuck in that lane for the rest of the trip (and when there is a passing zone, that’s usually when heavy traffic is coming the other way). The days where if I needed some kind of special ingredient (like ladyfingers), there was a good chance I couldn’t find it (and if I did, it was after I drove 45 minutes and stopped at multiple stores).
Now I feel like a whole new world has opened up. Let’s start with the library. I’ve never been so madly in love with a library before. I can practically get ANY BOOK I want. Ok, maybe not directly from my library, but they get books from other libraries in the county when I request them. Books that either I’m not sure about buying (hello, cookbooks!) or ones that I know I’ll only read once. I’ve always been a book lover, but this is insane. Then there’s the food. Not only do I have access to a multitude of coffee houses and restaurants, there are also the grocery stores. I’m 20 minutes away from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (which is a big deal, considering I was 3 hours away from them before). And there are so many specialty stores, especially ethnic grocery stores, that if I need a specific ingredient, I can find it no problem.
I never realized how much I missed Pittsburgh.
Before moving back, my parents and I would go down to The Strip District to shop (and before you get too excited over the name, it’s just a bunch of stores, mainly food, like a strip mall). Dad and I always had to stop at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, me for olive oil and him for licorice. Of course I’ve been back since I moved, and that’s when I spotted a box of mini cannoli shells on sale. In my basket they went, awaiting their cannoli fate. After some brainstorming, I decided Pumpkin Cannolis would be perfect, given the time of year.
A few weeks ago, Little Italy of Pittsburgh had their Little Italy festival. Considering small country towns rarely had these fun festivals, I wanted to go (plus it was only 10 minutes from where I live). I don’t think there was a vendor that didn’t have cannolis for sale. Now that I had recently indulged in one, it was time to make my own.
Cannolis aren’t meant to be sweet, so don’t expect that when you make these Pumpkin Cannolis. It’s mainly a ricotta cheese mixture with a little bit of powdered sugar to balance it out. I was hoping they’d be a little more pumpkin in color, but the spices toned down the color a bit.
Want more pumpkin recipes?
Pumpkin Tiramisu with Pumpkin Butter Caramel Sauce