I love pasta! And, if I wasn't Greek I think I would have been an Italian.
I'm a little late with sharing this recipe, I made it towards the end of the chestnut season, that runs from March to July. Chestnuts are gluten free, contain no cholesterol, are low in sodium and low GI so they keep you full for longer. They are rich in mineral salts and a good source of vitamins C, B1 and B2 and folates.
Brought to Australia originally by migrants during the gold rush in the mid-1850′s, chestnut groves really took off after World War II with an influx of Italian and Greek immigrants to Victoria. 70% of Australian chestnuts are grown in North East Victoria with its cold winters and warm dry summers. Quote via here
I made my own chestnut flour for this recipe, it did take a lot of time, but the taste was totally worth it! I made the chestnut flour by scoring the shell, roasting them, peeled them and popped them in a food processor. Poured the mix onto a baking tray and placed it into the oven to dry out. Then, back into the food processor and finally sieved through a fine sieve and you have flour.
I found the golden enoki mushrooms at Damian Pike's Wild Mushroom stall from the Prahran Market, if you can't find these little beauties the more common white variety will also work. Enoki mushrooms are best eaten raw, great texture, I thought it would go beautifully in my gremolata.
Even though the chestnut season is over, its a good chance to buy some chestnut flour and give it a go. The chestnuts distinctive flavour give a unique taste to the dish and with the pairing of mushrooms equals perfect harmony. This dish is one of my favourites, it's rich and impressive, and goes beautifully with a nice local Victorian Pinot Noir. Mangiamo!
CHESTNUT PAPPARDELLE w ENOKI GREMOLATA
SERVES 4 I Gluten Free I Vegetarian
- 15g dried porcini mushroom
- 30-40g butter
- Splash of white wine
- Pecorino, grated, plus extra to serve
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- ½ cup chestnut flour
- 1 ½ cups gluten free plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ cup potato starch
- 1 tbsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 eggs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Handful of fresh parsley, washed & dried, leaves picked
- ½ garlic clove
- Zest of one lemon
- ½ cup golden enoki mushroom
- In a bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook (or by hand) add chestnut flour, plain flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt. Mix dry ingredients. Add eggs, olive oil and let the dough hook turn slowly until it comes together.
- Remove and knead into a round shape. Cover with cling film and pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile to make the gremolata. Finely chop parsley, garlic and lemon zest. To prepare the enoki cut off the roots at the base, lightly separate them using your fingers, lightly fold the mushrooms into the gremolata using your fingers. Pop it in a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside in fridge.
- Place dried porcini into a bowl and cover with boiling water.
- Remove your dough from the fridge. Cut the dough into four. Place one portion on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece out thin enough to pass through pasta maker, start on no.1 and work your way to no.5-6 without folding the pasta. Cut into smaller pieces if it gets too long. Dust the rolled sheet with flour and roll into a sausage shape, cut with a sharp knife into approx. inch wide slices, then unwrap. Keep dusted and set aside. Repeat process with 3 other portions of dough.
- Put a large pot of water on the boil.
- Heat a frypan on medium. Add butter. Squeeze the juice out of the porcini using your hand, reserving the porcini water. Add porcini mushrooms to butter, stir, add a good splash of white wine. Let the wine cook off for a minute, then add your reserved porcini water, and a teaspoon or two of your gremolata. Simmer on low heat.
- Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and add into frypan. Add grated pecorino, season and toss to coat the pasta, if it’s a little dry add a splash of pasta cooking water.
- Serve instantly with a spoonful of gremolata on top, lashings of extra virgin olive oil and some shaved pecorino.