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Ora in the Kitchen: Castagnaccio

Castagnaccio is a typical Tuscan dessert made principally with chestnut flour. It is an ancient recipe and definitely belongs to the deep-rooted Italian tradition of “cucina povera.” It is found in both the Apennine area and on Monte Amiata where chestnuts used to be a staple element of rural diets. During the economic growth following World War II, Castagnaccio diminished in popularity and is now prepared as a delicacy.

Castagnaccio a gluten-free, yeast-free and sugar-free cake with a crispy external crust and a squidgy heart. It has very few ingredients and an unmistakable taste. Our Di Leccino is the perfect oil to use in this recipe thanks to its herbaceous and fruity notes. It has a delicate flavor profile which makes it the best candidate for baking.


  • 500g chestnut flour

  • 700g water

  • A pinch of salt

  • Orange zest

  • 50 g pinoli

  • 50g walnuts

  • Fresh rosemary

  • 50g Raisins (consider soaking in water or Vinsanto)

  • Di Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Optional - some agave syrup for sweetness


Making Castagnaccio is very simple: just mix fresh chestnut flour with water, add a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of Di Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the pine-nuts and some fresh orange zest. If you want some added sweetness add some agave syrup. Remember to grease the pan before pouring in the dough, no more than 2cm high. Scatter with raisins, walnuts and rosemary needles (separated from the sprigs). Cook in a preheated oven at 170C / 340 F for 25-30 minutes or until the surface cracks. Serve at room temperature perhaps with fresh ricotta whipped with chestnut honey or a glass of Vinsanto - or an extra drizzle of Di Leccino EVOO!

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