Here is pasta dish that I wanted to highlight with chestnuts.  Chestnuts are fantastic ingredient in the winter that have that natural kind of sweetness to them.  Chestnuts can be very versatile from simply roasting them to ground up into pastry or in this case pasta.  I had an impromptu dinner and decided to serve this as one of the courses.  Here is another great vegetarian recipe that will please any guests you might have over for dinner or lunch.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut pasta
200g or roughly 1 1/3 cup chestnut cooked and peeled
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup semolina
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp water
Salt

8 oz petit basque finely grated
4 oz Comte finely grated
2 oz  sartori bellavitano Espresso coating removed and finely grated
8 oz creme fraiche
Salt  and pepper 

10 oz Brussels sprouts slice in thirds and fried
8oz mitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chestnuts halved
8 oz chicken broth or vegetable (vegetarian)
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper 

Basil leaves

For the Cheese Filling,

In a bowl mix all the finely grated cheese with creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper.  Then place in a plastic disposable pastry bag.  Set aside in the refrigerator until the pasta is ready.  

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and chestnuts in a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Then add the rest of the flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends.  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  

For the Brussels 

In a small sauce pot add 1/2 cup of grape-seed oil and bring up to 325 degrees.  Take your brussels that are sliced and quickly add them to a pot and immediately cover the pot.  Cover the pot for about 20 seconds until all the natural water in the brussels has been cooked out.  If you don't do this the oil will splatter everywhere ( just think water and hot oil, bad combination) After 3-5 minutes the brussels will become nice and crispy and golden brown.  Take a strainer and strain out.  Season immediately with salt.  Set aside

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, oil, and mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add your chestnuts and cook for another 2 minutes and then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan.  Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Place a few spoonfuls of pasta and mushroom into each serving bowl.  Finish with the fried brussels and fresh basil leaves, Serve and enjoy!

 

chestnut pasta.JPG

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