A good Italian chestnut recipe is roasted chestnuts. To make them, slice the sides of the chestnuts, and place them in a chestnut roasting pan or a popcorn popper lined with foil. Sprinkle the chestnuts with water, and roast them over a fire for 10 to 20 minutes, jostling the pan often. Wrap the chestnuts in a cloth, and crack them open.
Another good Italian chestnut recipe is Tagliatelle with Chestnuts, Pancetta and Sage. To make it, brown 3 ounces of chopped pancetta in 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil for three or four minutes, and then stir in one minced onion. After a few minutes, add four minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage, followed one minute later by 8 ounces of coarsely crumbled whole chestnuts. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Cook 8 ounces of tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta, saving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid, and spoon the pasta into the pancetta mixture. Cook the pasta and pancetta mixture at high heat for a minute along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, 2 ounces of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Serve the pasta with salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage.