I love 🌰 chestnuts.
My dad prefers them cooked in salted water while mum loves them roasted until it just begins to blacken, and that’s how I like it too.
Sometimes I light the barbecue in the winter as i love to listen to the cracking noise that the chestnut gives out while roasting. The smell of roasted chestnut fills the air, and it is great way of spending time with friends and family outdoors while sipping mulled wine.
Chestnuts been introduced to Europe from Persia - apparently from the ancient Kingdom of Lydia, Anatolia which is part of modern Turkey, about 700BC.
I love using chestnuts in sweet and savoury cooking.
In Corsica they produce a beer using malt and chestnut flour, the brand is called Pietra.
Imagine a flavoursome onion soup made with this chestnut beer and a rich stock infused with roasted chestnuts and layered with gruyere cheese and chestnut sourdough loaf.
Chestnuts goes amazingly well with pumpkins, truffle, pork and white fish, shellfish. You can buy chestnut honey 🍯 too (alto I prefer our own Blythswood Square honey ♥️)
To make chestnut flour is time consuming however it is well worth the effort.
We soaked the chestnuts in cold water for 30 minutes and then scored the outer shell. The chestnuts then got slowly roasted on 180C until cooked and then peeled. We peeled off all outer layers and husks. Once they were peeled we place them on wire racks and dehydrated them. Once they were completely dry we grind them into flour.
Some of the 🌰 flour is used for bread baking and making pastry cases for MontBlanc while the rest is for pasta dough. We shaped little agnolottis from the pasta and filled it with roasted pumpkin, Parmesan and truffle before shaping to serve with roast scallops.
50 grm light rye flour
100 grm 00 flour
100 grm chestnut flour
3-4 eggs, free range
pinch of salt
Combine all flours and make a well in the centre. With the aid of a fork, add the eggs and salt into the well and gradually mix together, mixing in the flour a little a time. Once most egg and flour is combined, knead by hand for 3-5 minutes until soft, smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough in cling film and rest for 30 minutes before using. When rolling/handling the dough, try and avoid adding extra flour. The pasta should take only 2-3 minutes cooking time.
For the pumpkin filling, cut a small pumpkin into wedges and scoop out the seeds. season and slightly oil, bake on 180C for 20-30 minutes until soft. I baked mine until started to burn around the edges as i love the flavour of a caramelised pumpkin. Once cooked, cool slightly and then peel, weight out 200 grm and add 1 tbsp truffle oil, 3 tbsp grated parmesan and 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs, season to taste.
This filling you can use for raviolis, tortellinis and most filled pastas.