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Necci
Chestnut Pancakes



Necci pancakes are made from chestnut flour

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.

If you love the chestnut flour like us, try other recipes that include it such as castagnacciochestnut flour castagnole or chestnut flour cookies.



Equipment you may need in this recipe



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Necci
Chestnut Pancakes

Necci - Tuscan chestnut flour pancakes

SERVES: 8
COOKS IN: 10 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Super easy

Ingredients

FOR THE PANCAKES

  • 200 g chestnut flour
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Olive oil for greasing the pan

FOR THE FILLING

  • 200 g fresh ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Preparation

  1. Sift the chestnut flour in a medium bowl and add a pinch of salt. It's important to sift it as it tends to compress itself into lumps. Add water gradually and whisk together until you get a smooth and dense batter. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with plastic lid and let it rest for at least one hour.

  2. Heat a non-stick skillet (greased with an oil) over a medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter into the centre of the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly, then cook until the edges start to firm up and the bottom is evenly browned, approximately 2 minutes. Gently use a spatula to loosen all the way around the pancake before flipping. Cook the other side until evenly browned before removing from heat.

  3. Transfer the necci to the plate and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with a tablespoon of sugar. Spread it onto a each necci, wrap the edges of the necci around the filling and serve immediately.


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