Roasted Chestnut Pancetta Skewers, an amazing appetizer for an amazing time of year, with its tender nutty sweet flavor of the chestnuts infused with the rosemary and all crisped up and savory pancetta holding this puppy together. Gorgeous and absolutely delicious!
Roasted Chestnut Pancetta Skewers, easy eats, and a great way to start that festive Christmas meal. Merry Christmas!
[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop, we’ve been compensated but all opinions are our own.]
I remember Christmas in our Italian family, fireplace going in our basement rumpus room, the smell of wood burning, the sound of the kids running around, laughing, playing and moment of just sitting wondering what present is for us. On the TV Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs and me waiting for that song, The Christmas Song, that started off with chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You have to understand as a kid music was so important to me, I would memorize jingles and pretend to be on a stage singing to a large crowd, making cheering sounds and saying thank you, thank you very much, hitting an Elvis pose, silly child was I. On the fire a pan of fresh chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The smell of the chestnuts as they were being opened and peeled and my mother would give me one. I wasn't absolutely crazy about them but I would eat one or two and that was it. When The Italian Centre Shop asked us for an easy quick Christmas recipe, Nicoletta was quick to find this one, she absolutely loves chestnuts. These Roasted Chestnut Pancetta Skewers are quick and easy and are a great way to start that Christmas feast, with their beautifully roasted chestnuts, infused with the scent and flavor of the fresh rosemary, all encased in a smoky, crispy, fried pancetta crust, and just when you thought it couldn't get any better, a little drizzle of honey to offset the saltiness a little, absolutely scrumptious.
All I need for Christmas is these Roasted Chestnut Pancetta Skewers!
A quick run to The Italian Centre Shop and we are home with what is needed to create these beauties:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Smoked Pancetta
- E.v.o. oil
I love appetizers that are easy-breezy, and these roasted chestnuts are just that. I heated up the barbecue and a perforated pan. Cut the chestnuts with a wonderful utensil I found at The Italian store. It just cuts the shell layer of the chestnut allowing the steam and heat to escape. If you don't have one of those just use a knife, carefully of course, and score the shell. If you don't do this, you will start hearing this popping sound as your chestnut will explode. Into that hot pan on the barbecue and cook till the shell starts to open and there is a bit of char happening on the shell. Off the BBQ they go to cool enough so you can peel them, but not too much or the skin will be hard to remove. The next step is a nice piece of rosemary that goes on top with a slight drizzle of olive oil. Then the pancetta is wrapped all around the chestnut with the rosemary, skewered, and fried in a pan of hot olive oil till nice and crispy on the outside. That's it, we are done!
They look fabulous, sporting wonderful colors of Christmas, all crisped up with those rosemary tips peaking through and the olive oil glistening on the chestnut.
The smell is wonderful, the rosemary lingering in the air and the pungent smoky salty smell of the pancetta has me drooling and anxious to taste. This is my first time making these and as with any cook, those first moments of tasting are always a bit nerve-racking. Before this, though, a nice drizzling of Acacia honey (light in color and mild in taste) to offset the saltiness, and here it goes. The sound of the crispy pancetta crackling as your teeth go through. That wonderful salt cure and smokiness tantalizing the tongue, and highlights of rosemary accompanied with the nutty sweetness of the chestnut has you devouring these morsels quickly only to be slowed down by your mind wanting to savor this delicious moment!
Christmas is a time of reflection and memories, gratitude and blessing, a shared meal and loving gazes, as the table is set and deep sighs escape breath, and we settle in for a truly joyous feast. So, get your chestnuts, fresh rosemary, and smoked pancetta, and let's get Christmas going, with these amazing Roasted Chestnut Pancetta Skewers!
Merry Christmas from SugarLoveSpices!
Recipe adapted on "La Cucina Italiana".
- 9 smoked pancetta slices
- 9 chestnuts
- few rosemary sprigs
- 2 Tsp acacia honey
- 3 Tbspolive e.v.o. oil for pan frying
- Cut the chestnut, making the slit on the top just piercing the skin, We used a chestnut cutter, but a knife will do, then roast them in a pan (better if the pan is perforated, and the chestnuts roasted on the BBQ), for about 30 minutes.
- Let them cool a bit, then peel them and remove the skin, without breaking them.
- Place some rosemary sprigs on top of the roasted chestnut, a drop of olive oil, then wrap it in a slice of pancetta.
- Skewer roasted chestnut pancetta carefully making sure that the pancetta is held in place.
- Place three chestnuts rolled in pancetta on each skewer.
- In a frying pan, add 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil and cook the skewers just long enough to brown the pancetta.
- Serve hot, drizzled with honey.
Don't pass on the honey, it really brings this dish together!
- Serving Size: 3 servings