Sicily has a long-standing tradition of pastry making whose heritage was left by Arabs, Greeks and also Spaniards. That's one of the reasons of which Sicilian desserts are so rich, diverse and commonly made with sweet ricotta and almond paste. I particularly love two of them: the cassata and the cannolo.
The Sicilian cassata was created in Palermo around 998 A.D. Its pie shape has a soft consistency and is made of "sponge cake" (Pan di Spagna) and a cream of sweet ricotta with chocolate chips. The dough is covered by a layer of icing sugar and marzipan and decorated with candied fruit in festive, opulent Baroque designs. Although I wouldn't refuse any cassata, I prefer the delicate and small, green-colored ones, to eat in just a few bites. It's delish!
Another typical treat that I love is cannolo (plural: cannoli): although it can be found in many places around the world, the cannolo is only made with such mastery in the Southern Italy. It was initially reserved for Italian Carnival parties. But today, it is such a popular entity for any restaurant, bar or café. You should eat it freshly made and assembled on the same day so as not to lose the crunchy consistency of its dough. It is nothing more than a little light tube of fried dough, stuffed with ricotta, sugar, candied fruit and a hint of orange liqueur. In some places of Sicily, the ricotta used is that of sheep; elsewhere, it is of cow.
In Palermo, for example, some of them are offered in larger sizes than in other neighbouring cities, and they may have chocolate chips or pistachio. My suggestion is to taste their variations because they are all delightful and unique. However, of all I have tasted in Sicily, I highlight one that was made at an ice-cream parlor that Sicilians call a "bar", in the province of Mondello, in Palermo. It is called Bar Galatea di Lo Monaco Giuseppe: a family business company that has become a a meeting point for residents and Palermitani who usually go for a stroll on sunny weekends and holidays.
“Cannolo Scafazzato”: funny enough, Sicilians have invented a contemporary way of eating the classic and famous cannolo, as if it were a sort of "deconstructed" cannolo: it is meant to be shared with the ones who you are sit with. Besides, it tastes just like the original sweet, but the ricotta cream and the fried dough are usually mixed in a goblet, glass or bowl. Two restaurants prepare it very well, the Buatta Cucina Popolana and the Osteria Mangia and Bevi.