Marsala flavored roasted chestnuts
Wine match: Nero d'Avola
My favourite pairing is with Nero d’Avola, to balance the sweet and creamy chestnuts’ texture with the wine’s pleasant acidity.
1/2 pound chestnuts
1/2 glass of Marsala Riserva Vergine Secco
coarse sea salt from Saline "Ettore Infersa"
First of all carefully select the chestnuts, avoiding the small ones, the wrinkled and those with pinholes, then soak them in a bowl of water: those which stay afloat are probably damaged.
Place the chestnuts flat side down on a work surface. Using a sharp knife, cut a long slice through the shell on the rounded side, to avoid crackling while roasting.
Place a generous layer of coarse sea salt in a large pan, then the chestnuts, and cover with a lid. Lit up the stove and shake the pan several times to rotate the chestnuts during roasting.
After 10 minutes sprinkle the chestnuts with Marsala wine, adding more as soon as it dries up: keep them humid so that they will slowly absorb the wine’s aroma. Full roasting will take about 20 minutes.
When the chestnuts are roasted, transfer them to a platter and gather for some minutes into a humid rag, they will be easier to peel.
My favorite match is with a glass of Nero d’Avola: Italian tradition advises against drinking water, or it will cause you terrible stomach cramps!