Castagnaccio (Flat Chestnut Cake)

Castagnaccio (Flat Chestnut Cake)

From: Chef /owner Walter Potenza, Walter's Ristorante d'Italia, Providence, RI. Yield: 6 servings.

3 Tbsp. raisins

½ cup lukewarm milk

2 cups + 2 Tbsp. chestnut flour

1 tsp. granulated sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tbsp. pignoli (pine nuts) or chopped walnuts

2 cups cold milk (may substitute soy milk or almond milk)

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. rosemary leaves

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in lukewarm milk for 20 minutes. Sift all but 1 Tbsp. of chestnut flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt and the pignoli or walnuts. Mix very well with a wooden spoon, then add the 2 cups of milk little by little, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Drain the raisins and flour them with 1 Tbsp. chestnut flour. Add raisins to bowl, along with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and mix very well until smooth. Oil a round baking pan, 9" in diameter and 3" high, with entire second Tbsp. olive oil. Pour contents of bowl into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining Tbsp. olive oil and rosemary leaves over.

Note: Castagnaccio can also be made as a sweet bread. To do so, increase amount of sugar to 3 Tbsp.