Whole Wheat Penne with Chestnuts, Mushrooms and Shallots

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


All the Thanksgiving cooking left me with about a cup and a half of roasted chestnuts that I needed to use. And all the leftover turkey eating left me craving pasta big time. Turns out, Mark Bittman had a similar idea in 2007. So this is a modified version of his recipe published in the NY Times in December  2007.

  • Whole wheat pasta (penne or ziti) I like De Cecco Whole Wheat Penne
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chestnuts (I used Roland brand in a glass gar that I had left over from thanksgiving)
  • Dried Mushrooms (I used porcinis)
  • 1 cup of shallots (about 4) peeled and sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs oil (I used grape)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • grated cheese to taste
  • Fresh sage leaves divided(optional)
Soak mushrooms in very hot water. 

For the pasta, bring water to boil in large pot. Salt generously.

Heat a skillet on medium high, add oil. Add shallots, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, chop chestnuts into 1/4 inch chunks. Add them to the skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

Remove mushrooms from water, strain and RESEVE liquid. Wash the mushrooms. Chop and add to skillet with a bit more salt and pepper. Add a few sage leaves as well if using. Reserve the rest of sage.

Strain liquid from mushrooms through a seeve or a paper towel, add liquid to your skillet. Cook another 5-7 minutes.

Your mixture will look like this:

Cook pasta till tender but not mushy. Drain pasta, reserve a little water. Combine pasta with the chestnuts/shallot/mushroom mix. Add butter, heat till melted. If needed, add a little reserved water.

Serve immediately topped with grated cheese.

If you are using sage, heat some oil in a small skilled till very hot and fry the sage leaves. I am currently obsessed with doing this. About 2 minutes per side and drain on paper towel. They immediately make a simple pasta look gourmet.

I served this with a side of roasted zucchini. Recipe here:

Enjoy! Hope to see you soon!

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