We are a big fan of chestnut flour - one of the most interesting types of gluten free flours which we turn into a variety of delicious sweet and savoury dishes. One of the simplest sweets that can be made from this flour are Italian necci - a kind of pancakes which are traditionally prepared between two flat iron plates called testi. Fortunately, you can easily prepare them at home without any special equipment. You will just need a skillet, a spatula and a bit of practice flipping the pancakes.
For this treat you will need besides the chestnut flour also water, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once fried necci are eaten plain or filled with ricotta cheese but it also pairs well with savoury fillings such as sausage or pancetta.
The chestnut flour is valuable ingredients in preparing variety of dishes starting from sweet one like cookies, cakes to the pasta, gnocchi or even a bread. This gluten-free flour has natural sweetness and therefore is ideal for reducing the amount of sugar in recipes.
You might wonder where to buy the chestnut flour. In Italy the best chestnut flour can be bought from the local producers but you can also find it at specialty food stores such as Castroni which can be found on several locations in Rome. If you cannot find the chestnut flour at your local specialty food store you can buy high quality chestnut flour online. The chestnut flour of the best quality is during November and December as it is freshly grounded.
Be sure to sift the chestnut flour as it tends to compress itself into lumps. This way it will be airy and light. For frying use a non-stick skillet (greased with an oil) so these pancakes don't stick. Also gently use a silicon spatula to loosen pancakes all the way around before flipping on the other side.