Cannoli are the quintessential Sicilian treat. With sweetened cheese, bittersweet chocolate, zippy orange peel, and rich pistachio nuts, this version brings together many beloved flavors in every bite.
For filling, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until almost smooth. Stir in 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate. Cover and chill up to 6 hours.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat and stir 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate and the shortening over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl. Dip both ends of the cannoli shells in chocolate, letting excess drip off. Sprinkle chocolate ends with pistachio nuts. Place on a wire rack placed over parchment or waxed paper to dry (about 45 minutes).
When chocolate is dry, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream at medium speed of an electric mixer or with a wire whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold into the ricotta mixture. Spoon filling into a decorating bag fitted with a large round or open star tip (or spoon into a resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag). Pipe filling into shells. Cover and chill up to 2 hours. Makes 12 servings.
Prepare Cannoli as directed, except stir 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the ricotta cheese.