ever watch the sopranos? remember shfweeadell? they're actually called sfogliatelle. they were developed by nuns in napoli... because they had the time to devote to making them. they're certainly tres yummy.
i would recommend not tackling these if you're not very comfortable with pastry, and having some experience laminating dough would definitely be a plus.
so, without further ado:
1 ½ c flour (you may need more tho)
½ c sugar
½ t salt
½ c butter (very cold, cut into small cubes)
1 c ice water
¾ c melted butter or shortening
1 lb ricotta cheese
2 t milk
¼ t vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
¼ c sugar
1 t grated orange zest
1 c mini chocolate chips (optional)
for filling: combine ricotta, milk, egg, sugar and vanilla and run through sieve. add orange peel and chocolate chips, if including. store in refrigerator until ready to use.
for pastry: sift together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. mix in cold butter with fingers. gradually add enough ice water to hold ingredients together. toss on lightly floured board and knead about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth. cover and set aside in cool place ½ hour.
divide dough into four even parts. roll out each piece with rolling pin on lightly floured board, making rectangular sheets about 20" long. if necessary, pull and stretch dough with hands while rolling, to make tissue thin and almost transparent. brush each sheet and place sheets on top of each other. when four sheets are piled up, brush top with melted butter or shortening. let stand 5 minutes, then roll tightly as for jelly roll. roll in waxed paper. set aside 30 minutes or more in refrigerator.
with sharp knife, cut roll into ½" slices, which will resemble narrow rolls of ribbon. place on board or platter, cover with towel and set aside 15 minutes in cool place. place each slice on palm of left hand. with right thumb on center of roll, gently press through slice so that it forms a ribbed cone; make sure that ribs do not become entirely separated. carefully work around cone with thumb and index finger until it is well shaped, 3-inches across mouth and ½" at tip. press tip together.
fill each cone with 1 heaping T of filling. flatten cones slightly between palms of hands; place on lightly buttered cookie sheet; bake in a preheated 375° oven about 30 minutes or until sfogliatelle are golden color and crisp and filling is firm. remove from oven, cool, dust with confectioners sugar.