A typical autumn and winter dish, made with flour from freshly milled chestnuts together with wheat flour, lasagne bastarde from Lunigiana is a special type of pasta and should not be confused in any way with lasagne bolognese, so familiar to non-Italians. Lasagne bastarde is usually served with olive oil and cheese, or sometimes with a leek-based sauce. The chestnut flour adds a light and pleasant sweetness to the pasta, as well as its chestnut colour. Now a sought-after speciality of the region, lasagne bastarde’s origins date back to times when wheat flour was expensive and difficult to find. Then the proportion of chestnut flour to wheat flour would have been much higher than today.
The recipe is the second that Ciao Lunigiana is sharing from the book, Piatti Chiari, by Tiziana Falorni, the owner of the restaurant Alla Piazza di Sopra in Filleto. The recipe book is available directly from the restaurant and in bookshops in Lunigiana. You can also buy it online at Amazon.it and other online booksellers in Italy.
My thanks to Laura Razzoli, Tiziana’s daughter, for the photos and for making me my first, but certainly not my last, plate of lasagne bastarde.
Ingredients500g chestnut flour 700g white flour semolina flour for dusting water salt extra virgin olive oil pecorino or parmesan cheese
- Mix the two types of flour together. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add sufficient water to bring the dough together. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth mixture
- Roll out the dough as thinly as possible and cut into rectangle or diamond shapes
- Dust the pasta with semolina flour to prevent the it from sticking
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and on a low heat gently boil the pasta, taking care to prevent it from sticking. It should take around ten minutes for the pasta to be al dente
- Drain the pasta and arrange on a plate
- Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil and add shavings of pecorino or parmesan cheese.
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