About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Parsnip Fries | Main | Apple Spice Cake with Chestnuts »

Chestnut & Porcini Risotto Spirals

By Deborah


I planned to make chestnut stuffing for arancini. I had no intention of making the spirals at all. But, what can I say, here we are.


Chestnut & Porcini Risotto Spirals

For the filling:
1 - dozen fresh chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped into a fine dice.
1/2 oz - dried porcini, soaked in 1 cup hot water, drained and chopped (filter and reserve soaking water)
1/3 cup finely diced sweet onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
4 oz mild Italian sausage lightly flavored with fennel seed
1 T- olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Break sausage into crumbles as you brown in small saute pan. Drain on paper towel.
Saute onion and celery in olive oil until celery is soft and onion lightly golden.
Add chopped porcini and heat through.
Add drained sausage and chopped chestnuts along with reserved porcini broth. Cook down until all liquid evaporates. You'll have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside to cool.


Make a traditional risotto using a 16oz package of rice. I prefer carnaroli to arborio, but that's just me. Use whatever you like. Instead of beef stock, use CHICKEN STOCK . Substitute a slightly sweet white wine for the traditional dry white. You'll want your risotto to be creamy and thick for this application.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread risotto evenly over entire sheet. It should be no more than a 1/4 inch thick layer. Allow the risotto to cool and 'set' for a few minutes, then spread the chestnut porcini mixture evenly over the top.


Picking up the edge of one of the long sides of the parchment, begin rolling like a jelly roll. loosen the parchment as you go. When your roll is complete, moisten your hands and smooth the outer surface of the roll, making sure you gently press the seam closed. Wrap in the parchment and, leaving on cookie sheet, put in refrigerator to chill completely.


Removed chilled log from fridge, spray with olive oil spray, and coat with plain bread crumbs. Working quickly to keep chilled, slice log into 1 inch slices. Spray oil on both cut sides and coat with more bread crumbs.


Place slices in a skillet with hot vegetable oil to brown quickly. Gently turn with tongs and brown other side. Remove to drain oil briefly on paper towel. Serve immediately. The sauce is made of freshly ground roasted chestnut flour, salt and pepper, a little cream, and some white wine. No measurements, just wing it.


This recipe made a 18 spirals. One would be a hearty primo. Two could easily serve as a main dish.

I've got a dozen left that I put in the freezer. I have no idea how they will hold up to freezing and reheating in the oven. We shall see.

They are delicious, but if I make them again there would be a couple of tweaks. The porcini was a little too pronounced, so I would reduce it to about 1/4 ounce dry weight. I'd increase the chopped chestnuts to about 18 instead of 12.

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Comments (2)


Oh man, I can smell that from here. Looks delish, Deborah. Chestnuts and mushrooms really do scream for each other, don't they? *grin*


Not only did you really "create" something fabulous with chestnuts but you managed to use sausage in it too! Brava!!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 18, 2011 3:54 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Parsnip Fries.

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