The “Castagnaccio”, typical of the Tuscan culinary tradition, is an autumn dessert made with chestnut flour, pine nuts, raisins, walnuts, and rosemary. The recipe changes from area to area, from family to family, as befits a very traditional recipe.
Today we bring you this simple ancient Tuscan recipe with a little twist. You need to gather a few very simple ingredients. Some chestnut flour, couscous, raisins, and nuts. Dedicate just a little time and lots of love, and you will enjoy a 2000-year-old dish as if it was first cooked yesterday.
Here is how to prepare the ancient and delicious Castagnaccio with couscous!
- Preparation: 15 minutes
- Cooking: 40 minutes
- Portions: 6/8 people
Recipe by Simona Novarini
- 70 ml of water
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- 70 grams of Martino Couscous
- 450 grams of chestnut flour
- 650 ml of water
- 70 grams of raisins
- 80 grams of pine nuts
- 80 grams of walnuts
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Rosemary as needed
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Begin by re-hydrating the raisins. Place them in a cup with lukewarm water and let them sit in until they become fluffy and fully hydrated. Leave them aside until you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Before using them drain the water well.
Hydrate the couscous
In a non-stick pan pour 70 ml of water, add one teaspoon of granulated sugar and bring everything to a simmer. When simmering turn off the heat and pour 70 grams of Martino Couscous.
Make sure to cover with the pan with a lid and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the water and has become fluffy.
When ready fluff the couscous with the help of a fork. This will remove any lumps and separate the delicate grains without crushing them to give the couscous a light texture.
Prepare the mixture
Begin by crushing coarsely the walnuts with your hands. Next, pour the chestnut flour in a large mixing bowl and add water little by a little while mixing with a hand whisk. Keep mixing until you obtain a smooth amalgamated mixture.
When ready add the hydrated couscous, the pine nuts, the well-drained raisins, the crushed walnuts and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix everything well with the help of a wooden spoon.
Prepare for baking
Use a baking pan with a diameter of approximately 26 cm. Make sure to line it well with parchment paper to keep the cake from sticking on the bottom. Pour the freshly prepared mixture inside.
Sprinkle on top with pine nuts, some crushed walnuts, a few raisins, rosemary and a tablespoon of olive oil.
Place the baking tray in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 180°C. Make sure your cake is baked evenly.
To test if your cake is cooked, insert a clean wooden skewer into the center of the cake and remove it. The cake is ready if the skewer comes out clean. If there are any crumbs attached to the skewer, pop the cake back into the oven for several minutes.
Let the cake cool down before removing it from the baking pan. This way it will keep its shape while serving it! Your castagnaccio with couscous is ready to serve!
Serve the cake just warm, or completely cooled, trickling each slice with honey and a little extra virgin oil.
The Castagnaccio is a cake that has all the characteristics of the balanced ancient Mediterranean cuisine. You can cook it and save it in a dry place, and there you have a meal to go anytime you need it. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive all the delicious Martino’s recipes directly in your inbox!
For the adventurous, don’t miss this opportunity to add your personal touch to the Castagnaccio. The traditional recipe must take the taste of each home it is cooked in. So give it a try. Mix your nuts, dry fruits. Try it with honey or plain, try it with all kinds of toppings but don’t forget to leave a comment to tell us all about it.