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Every Monday, we are going to do a brief post on a particular item on the menu at Bello.

I decided to start with one of our signature items, Mortadella Cannoli with Pineapple Mostarda. This is a very good example of the modern Italian food that we are creating at Bello. It takes a classic Italian dish (Cannoli which is normally served with Ricotta for dessert) and adds a little twist to make a new dish.

Here, we replace the sweetened ricotta with a mousse made of Mortadella. Mortadella is a cooked pork sausage normally called “Baloney” here in the United States because the dish originated in Bologna (which is in the region of Emilia Romagna). It is one of my favorite sausages and, no offense, is totally different and much better than the Baloney served here. Because Mortadella normally has pistachio nuts in it, we add crushed pistachio nuts to the ends of the cannoli, just as chocolate chips or dried fruit are often on the ends of a traditional sweet cannoli.

The dish is served with a mostarda made of pineapple. Mostarda is a typical Italian condiment that preserves fruits along with mustard. When a family has a fruit tree, typically you harvest a ton of fruit at the same time and you can’t eat it all. So you need to preserve it so that nothing goes to waste. We store the fruits with sugar which removes water and concentrates the fruit.

This dish has a terrific taste of pork, a nice crunch and a delicious sweetness from the mostarda. I served it at Ocapica and people at a ton of it.