The idea of “deconstructing” dishes doesn’t exactly sit well with me. Why would I want “deconstructed” lasagna, which is essentially a messy, lazy casserole, when so much of lasagna’s appeal is in its layers upon layers (upon layers)?
The one deconstructed recipe I can get behind? Cannoli cream served with cannoli “chips.” Sure, it lacks form, but you don’t lose any textural contrast. The crunchy powdered sugar–covered chips are ideal alongside the creamy filling (or in this case, dip)—by serving the two side-by-side.
The only substantial difference between cannoli cream and cannoli dip is that the latter is slightly thicker, so it’s easier for the “chips” to pick up. A little extra confectioners’ sugar gives it extra body, and ricotta and mascarpone cheese bring the signature creaminess. A bit of lemon zest lends brightness to the otherwise sweet and extremely rich dip. I added mini chocolate chips, since those are my weapon of choice when ordering cannoli at an Italian-American bakery, but you could easily swap in chopped pistachios instead. The one thing I absolutely won’t endorse is plain cannoli cream or dip.
As for the chips, you can make them yourself (check out our recipe for cannoli shells here) but they’re also easy enough to find at most grocery stores. Of course, you can do it my way and devour the cannoli dip by the spoonful, no chips and no trip to the grocery store needed.
This recipe yields about two cups of dip, but you might as well double the batch—it’ll go fast. —Kelly Vaughan