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All the World’s a Stage, Shakespeare & Sicilan Cannoli

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, desserts, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, recipes, Sicily, and Travel & customs

copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”                                                                                       William  Shakespeare in  “As You Like It”

Hmm..maybe Shakespeare knew something we didn’t ..the world was also  his stage and he was merely one of the players..

Have you heard the news coming from ‘across the pond’ (as the British say)?  Research presented at the Book Fair in Turin Italy last year claims that William Shakespeare, aka- Michelangelo Florio was really born in Sicily and his family was forced to flee to England because of his father publishing writings against the  Vatican. That was how he became the ‘British Bard’

 He came from an aristocratic family, father was  Giovanni Florio and  ultimately took his mother’s maiden name and translated it into English. His mother was Guglielma Crollalanza. Croallalanza means shake spear in engllish..added an ‘e’ at the end and..voila!! The first name  William  comes from  a young cousin that was born in England and died young. His mother was a cousin of Guglielma and had already translated her last name to Shakespeare but named her young son William. That William died very young.  So upon the arrival of young Michelangelo Florio (Aka the Bard) into Stratford-on-the-Avon, he took the name of his deceased cousin-William Shakespeare. Also it is eerily noted that Shakespeare, at the age of 16, while traveling throughout Europe, fell in love with a girl named Giulietta (Juliet) and his family opposed the union,  Giuletta  was so distraught that she committed suicide ( does this story bring to mind a balcony, Verona and one named Romeo?)….if you need to sit down to ‘digest’ all this..have a glass of  Marsala wine with this traditional Sicilian cannoli recipe..while reading more about the real ‘Bard’ here

This recipe uses a typical dessert wine made in Sicily known as Marsala. The Florio family is a famous Marsala making family..who knows maybe Michleangelo Florio,aka William Shakespeare may be a relative.

Sicilian Cannoli




(you will need a cannoli form to make these. Many gourmet stores sell these. But if you can’t find send me an email:

1 cup flour

1 1/2  tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg white

2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine

Oil for frying (canola, peanut oils are best)

Melt butter and place in bowl. A little at a time, blend in sugar,flour and Marsala wine. Mix by hand till you have gotten a smooth but firm dough. Let stand for 15 minutes and roll out, cut to round circular discs that are 4″ in width.  Heat oil in deep frying pan or fryer.  Oil the cannoli form and place dough on top. Close the opening of the cannoli where dough meets and place beaten egg white to firm the closure. Fry till golden.



2 cups ricotta cheese(freshly made if possible

1 cup powdered sugar

16 ounces  dark chocolate (at leas 65% cocoa)pieces or cut into small pieces or bits

Place ricotta in bowl, add in sugar and chocolate pieces, belnd with wooden spoon till well blended. Fill cooked shells when cool and dust with powdered sugar.

For more authentic Italian recipes, stories on Italian life get your copy of the book selected as best Italian cuisine book in the USA by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards-The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Peace, Love &  Pasta…Maria xoxo

One Comment

  1. rosario vitale
    rosario vitale


    February 25, 2011

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