SAVOURY CASTAGNACCIO WITH SMOKED PANCETTA, RED ONION, PINE NUTS AND ROSEMARY

fresh chestnuts

I have the first cold of this school year (I tend to have two different years going on, both equally important but maybe the school year feels more true to my inner calendar, I wonder when the new year begins for Mother Nature? In spring I suppose) but fortunately it seems to be on the rebound, probably fled to someone else in the family because here they are falling like bowling pins! It hits hard but seems to leave quickly, or maybe I’m just the lucky one. Or maybe it’s because someone has to keep the family and house going and I feel like the chosen one for some strange reason. Anyway, I didn’t mean to go on about this, I wanted to post a recipe of something that I made and really liked and I am surprised that I didn’t think of it before but had to hear about it from someone else who made it with salsiccia though I think that smoked pancetta or bacon is a better choice. I am the only one here who likes castagnaccio, a sweet cake that you make of chestnut flour here in Tuscany. It has a particular flavour, slightly smokey and not that easy to like maybe if you never have eaten it, to be honest I only like my own version, but it is definitely worth trying! When I was breastfeeding my second child I craved castagnaccio all the time so there must be something in it that is good for you. So I adapted my old castagnaccio recipe and made a savoury one and I really like the result, the sweetness of the chestnuts and the onions is balanced by the saltiness of the pancetta.

Savoury Castagnaccio with Smoked Pancetta, Red Onions, Pine Nuts and Rosemary

SAVOURY CASTAGNACCIO WITH SMOKED PANCETTA, RED ONION, PINE NUTS AND ROSEMARY or CASTAGNACCIO SALATO CON PANCETTA AFFUMICATA, CIPOLLE, PINOLI E ROSMARINO

225 g/7,9 oz chestnut flour
400 ml/1,7 cup milk
150 g/5,3 oz smoked pancetta or bacon, diced
1 red onion
2-3 tblsp pine nuts
1 small sprig rosemary
extra-virgin olive oil

– Warm the milk a little before adding it to the chestnut flour. Let it stand.
– Fry the pancetta gently until crispy. Let it drip off the excess fat on kitchen paper.
– Now fry the onion slowly in olive oil until soft and golden.
– Add the pancetta and the pine nuts to the chestnut batter and mix well.
– Pour a small amount of olive oil into a tart tin and then pou the batter into it, spread it out evenly and then put the onion on top together with the rosemary leaves/needles. Drip a little olive oil over.
– Bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F) for 20-25 minutes or until firm.
– Serve preferably tepid but cold is OK as well.

Savoury Castagnaccio with Smoked Pancetta, Red Onions, Pine Nuts and Rosemary

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