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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for chestnut pasta with mushrooms and herbs | Pasta

As anybody who has picked up a winking chestnut and rolled it across the palm of their hand is aware of, candy chestnuts are heavy issues – too heavy to be unfold by animals or birds, which means the chestnut panorama is basically man-made. All through historical past, chestnuts have been planted to supply meals (particularly in areas that aren’t appropriate for grains), wooden and gasoline, or as a present for future generations. In her charming and informative e book On Chestnuts: the Timber and their Seeds, Ria Loohuizen recollects a saying from France: “One crops a peach for oneself, an olive tree for one’s son, a chestnut tree for one’s grandson.”

Candy chestnuts usually are not picked: they fall from the tree when they’re ripe, so have to be collected, on mats or by large vacuums. A good friend of ours in Abruzzo, the place chestnuts have all the time been of nice financial significance, has a good friend who constructed his personal collector that consists of a gentle wire basket on a stick which he rolls over the bottom so the nuts squeeze between the gaps.

Historically, chestnut flour was made by drying the chestnuts in particular huts, on racks over a low-burning fireplace. As soon as dried, they had been peeled and milled. Within the Nineteen Twenties, the mechanisation of peeling revolutionised the method, which means the nuts could possibly be peeled first, then dried by trendy strategies, earlier than being lowered to flour. Just like the chestnuts it’s comprised of, the flour is of course candy, which is why it’s generally referred to as farina dolce, or candy flour. That mentioned, it has a savoury sweetness, and is ever so barely astringent, which is why chestnut flour works so properly in savoury dishes: bread, polenta, pancakes and, as in as we speak’s recipe, pasta.

Its lack of gluten means it wants the assist of plain flour, too; Carla Tomasi, a gardener and my instructor, suggests a 50:50 break up.

Loohuizen additionally remarks that the candy chestnut is a “sociable” tree, and the way it has a symbiotic relationship with the mushrooms that develop within the shaded soil close to the bottom of its trunk. The buddies are reunited on this week’s recipe, for which 500g blended mushrooms (chestnut, button, discipline, oyster) are cooked in a beneficiant quantity of butter with herbs, and are then tossed with Harris tweed ribbons of chestnut pasta.

Chestnut pasta with mushrooms and herbs

Prep 30 min
Relaxation 30 min
Prepare dinner 10 min
Serves 4

200g chestnut flour
g plain white flour
4 eggs
g blended mushrooms – chestnut, button, discipline, oyster
60g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
, peeled and bashed
1 sprig contemporary thyme
thick cream (elective)
Salt and black pepper
A handful of parsley, minced

First, make the pasta. On a board, in a bowl or in a meals processor, combine each flours and the eggs till you have got a agency dough. Depart it to relaxation, coated by an upturned bowl, for half-hour, roll out utilizing a machine or rolling pin, lower into roughly 20cmx 10cm sheets, then lower the sheets into 8mm-wide ribbons. Deliver a big pan of well-salted water to a boil.

Slice the mushrooms (halve or quarter bigger ones first, if vital). In a big, deep frying pan or wok set over a medium-low warmth, soften the butter and olive oil with the garlic and thyme, till the butter foams gently. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and cook dinner, stirring, till they collapse. Let the mushrooms bubble gently of their juices for eight to 10 minutes, including the cream, if utilizing, and some grinds of black pepper.

In the meantime, cook dinner the pasta, which is able to take about three minutes (preserve testing whereas it boils), then elevate it immediately into the mushroom pan together with the minced parsley. Toss every little thing completely, and serve.

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