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Photo ©Archivio del Paniere Lucchese
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Desserts
Recipe for necci with ricotta
grade
Difficulty
Easy
local_dining
Preparation
20 min
schedule
Cook
5 min

Necci are thin pancakes made with chestnut flour and cooked in special wrought iron plates with long handles, called testi. Traditionally, necci are rolled into the shape of a cannolo and stuffed with ricotta while still hot. They are a typical speciality of Garfagnana and the Mid Serchio Valley, and also of Lunigiana and the Pistoia Mountains.

Originally, neccio was consumed in place of chestnut flour polenta, or was eaten cold by woodcutters and charcoal burners while working in the woods. It was, however, a typical snack for all who lived in the mountains. Still loved today, necci are found almost everywhere in Garfagnana and Mid Serchio Valley where Farina di Neccio DOP (Neccio flour) is produced by using traditional manufacturing methods. Chestnuts are harvested by hand in autumn and then dried for forty days in metati (wooden and stone structures) where the fire is fed solely by chestnut wood. After a manual selection, the dried chestnuts are ground in stone mills and transformed into flour.

  • 400 gr. of chestnut flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • water
  • 500 gr. of fresh ricotta
- Credit:  Archivio del Paniere Lucchese

In a bowl with chestnut flour and salt, pour a drizzle of water and work until the mixture is soft, more liquid than a cream.

Heat the testi on the stove and grease them with half a potato dipped in olive oil (while traditional iron testi are the best, you could alternatively use steel plates or other materials such as a simple pan)

Using a spoon, pour the mixture into the center of the testo, then flatten it with the other testo and place it on the fire. Turn it from time to time to cook the neccio evenly. If you use a pan, cook the neccio for two minutes, then turn it over to the other side and cook for a further two minutes.

Serve the neccio stuffed with fresh ricotta, rolled into the shape of a cannolo.

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