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When the cold weather begins, one of my favorite things to enjoy is roasted chestnuts! It Italy, they’re called castagne and you can find them everywhere.  The delicious aroma fills the chilly air! You’ll see the steam rising from the special roasting ovens by street vendors in almost every piazza (plaza/square). 

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My favorite castagne are prepared by a street vendor in the Italian city of Bologna, near my mother-in-law’s apartment.  It’s a nice stroll through the capital city of the Emilia Romagna region and it is something special that my husband and I look forward to doing each winter.

Do Roasted Chestnuts Taste Good?

Roasted chestnuts taste so good, and are even better when paired with a glass of wine. Even more, chestnuts can be used in salads, pasta and both savory and sweet side dishes. They also add a distinct nutty flavor to stuffing and go well with many fruits and vegetables like cabbage or apples.

How Do You Roast Chestnuts at Home?

If you’ve ever wondered if you can roast chestnuts at home, wonder no longer! It’s quite simple and takes around the same time it would take to bake a cake. Chestnuts are a wonderful, natural snack. They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But you don’t have to stop at roasting them. Chestnuts can also be ground into flour to bake cookies, cakes and even to thicken soups. They are just the perfect staple to have stored in the pantry during the winter.

How to Roast Chestnuts Like an Italian Street Vendor

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Do You Have To Soak Chestnuts Before Roasting?

Soaking the chestnuts helps to create steam. Although some people do this additional step, I never have. You can try it both ways and see which texture you prefer.

Three Ways to Roast Chestnuts

  • Pan – An arrosticastagne is a special pan with holes in the bottom, that is used on a gas stove (or on another source of open flame). The pan allows the chestnuts to cook more evenly. It also allows the open flame to touch the chestnuts, adding to the flavor. You can also use a regular pan or a cast iron pan.
  • Oven – Cook chestnuts on a lined baking sheet. (This is how I usually make them)!
  • Air Fryer – Shake the air fryer basket a couple of times during cooking.

Roasted Chestnuts (Castagne)

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • raw chestnuts

Instructions 

Preparing the Chestnuts

  • Rinse and dry the chestnuts well.
  • With a sharp knife (like a paring knife), carefully score the chestnuts in the center, making a line going across the round side, just piercing the inner skin and not the chestnut itself.
  • Scoring is an important step, because chestnuts expand as they roast.
  • Optional: Soak the scored chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for one minute to help with steaming. Drain and dry them well.

Cooking the Chestnuts

  • Preheat the oven or airfryer 356F / 180C, unless you are using a pan on the stovetop.
  • Oven – cook chestnuts on a lined baking sheet. Shake baking sheet halfway through cooking. Depending on your oven, you may need to flip the chestnuts so they cook evenly.
  • Air Fryer – shake basket to flip chestnuts a couple of times during cooking.
  • Pan – Roast over a medium-low flame, tossing often. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: castagne, chestnuts, holiday foods, Italian desserts, italian food, kosher, Winter

Roasted Chestnuts – A Cherished Italian Treat

Enhance any meal or make a holiday even more memorable. A fruit platter, a bowl of hot roasted chestnuts and a bottle of wine (reds are my fave) are a special treat and the perfect way to end a holiday meal. Give them a try!

Have you ever had roasted castagne? What other foods are you looking forward to making this winter? Can’t wait to read what you wrote in the comments below!


Italian Street Food - La Piadina

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Italian Street Food – La Piadina

This is the latke recipe for Hanukkah from GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant at the main entrance of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, Italy. It may very well be the most eaten latke recipe on the planet, as we have served hundreds of thousands of latkes to guests from all over the world for more than 20 years! It is one of the most requested items on our menu, so we serve it all year.

One of the best ways to get in the holiday mood is by enjoying special treats. And, with this latke recipe for Hanukkah, the house will smell so delicious, the neighbors will beg you to share it.

gondola near a bridge on the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy

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Latkes are delicious served with sour cream, apple sauce or whatever you fancy. And it goes without saying, that the best latkes are followed up with delicious Hanukkah doughnuts, or sufganiyot.

Holiday foods are a great way to create beautiful memories. So get started with this easy and inexpensive recipe.

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Hanukkah latkes in a blue dish

World Famous Latke Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 latkes
Calories 111
This is the latke recipe from GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant at the main entrance of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, Italy

Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying (Fill the pot with approximately 2 inches (5 cm) of oil. During Hanukkah, I use 1/2 vegetable oil and 1/2 extra virgin olive oil, but all vegetable oil is fine.)

Instructions 

Batter Preparation

  • Grate peeled potatoes and onion by hand or in a food processor.
  • Squeeze out most of the excess water, but not all.
  • Beat the eggs with a fork and mix thoroughly into the potato-onion mixture.
  • Mix the salt and pepper into the flour add it to the potatoes. Mix well with a fork. Be sure that there are no lumps and that everything is combined well.
  • Heat the oil on medium flame in a deep pot, like a pasta pot.
  • Lower the flame to medium low.

Shaping the Latkes

  • Shape a 1/3 cup of batter into a slightly flattened ball (not like a flat pancake). To get the right shape, take a scoop of batter in your hands, gently squeeze out a bit of the liquid and then form the latke as you toss it back and forth between your hands as you would a tennis ball. 12 times seems to be the magic number for me.
  • Fry approximately 4 minutes. Flip over using a slotted spoon and fry for another 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the pot to a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Notes

Tip: Cooking time will depend on your stove and the size of the pot you are using. Cook one batch and test for doneness, and adjust cook time if necessary.
 
Calories: 111kcal
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Kosher
Keyword: Chanukah, Hanukkah, holiday foods, Latkes, side dishes

Nutrition

Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Have you had latkes at GAM GAM before? What other recipes would you like me to post on the blog? I love hearing from you, so scroll down and let me know in the comments below!

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