A commitment-inducing food:
A romantic legend has it that the fragrant rosemary needles on top of the castagnaccio imparted love potion powers to this food, so that if a girl prepared and offered this cake to a young man, he would fall in love with her and asked her hand in marriage. Worth trying.
- 750 ml water 750
- 500 gr chestnut flour (chestnut trees are very common in this area)
- 6 teaspoons olive oil (the base of everything!)
- 100 grams each of pine nuts and walnuts (again, fruits of local trees)
- 80 grams of raisins (from wine grapes)
- a handful of rosemary needles (indigenous, ever-green ice sturdy shrub). Take the needles from the rosemary stick only just before baking, to preserve all the fragrance.
Grind roughly most of the nuts, but save a few for decoration.
Add water to flour and whisk into a smooth mix.
Now squeeze excess water from raisins, and add them – and the nuts – into the mixture.
Pour and spread the oil into a low baking tray, then pour the mixture in, to a 1/2 inch thickness.
Sprinkle the whole nuts and raisins and the rosemary needles on top, now pour 2 more spoons of olive oil.
Your “castagnaccio” will be ready in 30 minutes, or when the top is full of crevices and the pinenuts are golden.
And now a bit or culinary terrorism:
– According to the purists, the baking tray should be of tin plated copper.
– Good chestnut flour is not available before mid november and is very fine and naturally sweet. As usual: go for the best quality you can get your hands on. Worth going to a specialty shop and pay a little extra.