Castagnaccio (cast-a-nya-cho)

Castagnaccio is an Italian cake made from chesnut flour. The flour has a hint of a smokey flavour as it is obtained by placing the chesnuts on a grate through which they are roasted by a wood fire underneath. The flour is easily found in Italy but I am not sure how easy it is to find in the UK.

What you need:

300g chestnut flour

50g raisins

30g pinenuts

50g walnuts (or just do 80g pinenuts)

1 orange (for the rind)


3 dessert spoons of sugar

Olive oil


1: Mix the flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, the orange rind shredded and half a litre of water making sure that there are no lumps.

2: Add a few dessert spoons of olive oil and leave the mixture alone for about an hour.

3: Grease a large oven dish and pour the cake mixture into it.  The mixture should be spread quite thinly. It isn’t a thick cake.

4: Place the sprigs of rosemary ontop and sprinkle the raisins and nuts ontop.

5:Drizzle about 4 dessert spoons of olive oil over it and cook in the oven at 200 centigrade for about 45 minutes.

It is delicious eaten warm from the oven with a dollop of ricotta.


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