Thanksgiving dinner isn’t always about roasting the turkey. Sometimes the meal is just as much about the sides as the main dish, especially when you have near 20 of your family and friends gathering in the same place. And of course, as always, it is about celebrating the seasons, and time together. This is probably one of the few circumstances (at least in the near future) where everyone can be in the same place at the same time, a rare event that brings about a cherished fesitve spirit itself. And then celebrating with good food means that the memories from today will come alive again with the aromas and tastes experienced. This Autumn pasta does just that with roasted chestnuts, pumpkin, and chanterelle mushrooms.
I just love the “meatiness” that the texture of the chestnuts provides, which is well balanced by the smooth pumpkin puree. But then, I just love roasted chestnuts on their own. I don’t even need to do anything to them, I could eat them straight right after they came out of the oven. If you have never roasted chestnuts at home before, I highly suggest it. They have a distinctive flavor that is very different from most other nuts, and they lend themselves well to either being combined with other flavors or being the focus of flavor. They can be used in savory or sweet dessert dishes too – really, they are quite versatile, and oh yes, they happen to be in season now
Working with gluten free pasta is always interesting, but in the end it was successful. I have made gluten free pasta before, and every time it always seems to have its quirks. Take care to do this in batches, rolling out dough and the filling and folding it quickly so that the dough doesn’t dry out too much before you are done. You may also need to double the amount of pasta that you make, I had a lot of filling leftover (for which I found other very yummy uses to come soon!).
For the Filling:
1 lb. chestnuts
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 oz. dried chanterelle mushrooms, or 2 cups fresh
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. truffled sottoccenere cheese, grated (or your favorite mild but creamy cheese)
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbs. sage, minced
2 tbs. rosemary, minced
2 tbs. thyme, minced
salt & pepper
For the Pasta:
3 tbs. xantham gum
1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2 tbs. dried sage
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. canola oil
2 tbs. broth
For the Cream Sauce:
2 tbs. butter
1/2 cup shallots, diced
2 tbs. quinoa flour
1/2 cup sherry
2 cups chanterelle “broth”/veggie broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Heat oven to 425F and cut an “X” into each chestnut. Roast “X” side up for 20-30 minutes, until the fleshy part starts to turn a golden color. If you don’t cut the “X”, then when they heat up the steam will make them explode in your oven. Fun! Ok, not really. Once cool enough to handle, peel off hard outer shell and thinner inner shell, preserving only the white “meat”. Pulse in a food processor until ground up well.
2. While chestnuts are roasting, if using dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in a cup or so of hot water for about 30 min. Preserve the “broth” as well as the mushrooms.
3. Chop mushrooms and combine all of the filling ingredients (just use your hands), cover and let sit in the fridge.
4. Combine the dry ingredients for the pasta and shape into a mound on a clean surface. Make a well in the center, and add in the eggs. Gradually add in flour to the egg mixture, until all of the flour is incorporated. Knead a few times, and then form into a ball. Wrap the ball of pasta dough and let it sit out for a good hour before rolling it out.
4. On a floured surface, roll out ball in between two sheets of plastic wrap using a rolling pin, always rolling away from you and rotating the dough to form a round flat dough. Once about 1/4? thick, you can now use a pasta machine to finish rolling the dough. I used the pasta machine up to setting #5, because once that thin the GF dough really starts to dry out quickly.
5. Use a biscuit cutter or sharp edged glass (I actually used a measuring cup) to cut circles out of the dough, about 2.5″ diameter. Add about a marble sized ball of filling into the center and form the tortellini (here is a good tutorial if you need some help). To make the tortellini, dip your finger in a bowl of water to wet it and wet the edge of the pasta and then fold it in half over the filling. To make into tortellini, place one finger in the middle of the flat side and carefully bring the two outer corners of the half circle together around your finger and seal. Fold the little rim (from where the edges were sealed together) to one side. At this point they can be refrigerated up to one day.
6. To make the sauce, brown the butter on high heat and saute the shallots until translucent in a large saute pot. Whisk in the flour and let cook for a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry, and then add in the mushroom“broth” and veggie broth. Let simmer and reduce until 1/2 cup left. Once reduced, pour some of the broth into a small bowl. Remove from heat and add in the cream, stirring constantly. Put back on the heat and let the cream sauce come “just” to a simmer. Set aside.
7. To cook the ravioli, heat up a pot of salted boiling water with a little bit of olive oil added. Keep on a gentle boil, too hard and the pasta may fall apart. Let cook 3-5 minutes, or until the pasta are floating. Then lift out with a slotted spoon, plate, and ladle sauce on top. Enjoy!
Also submitted to – Friday Foodie Fix