Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sausage Pici with Chestnuts and Eggplant Croquet

Ciao friends and buon anno! Hope you guys had a nice holiday! I have two recipes for you today:

Chestnut Pici with Sausage


10.5 ozs water

17 ozs flour

4 ozs chestnut flour

2 pinches of salt

½ lb sausage

1 medium white onion

2 tbsp oil

1 c white wine

1 clove of garlic

6 chestnuts

½ c milk


Pour flour on working surface and make a fountain with a hole in the middle of the flour. Pour the water into the middle of the fountain then add a little flour at a time with the tip of the fork. Keep beating and when all the flour is mixed and you have a dough consistency, knead the dough by pressing and folding gently with your hands. Now, work the dough with palm of your hands – holding with the left hand and pressing with the right, then fold the dough over and turn. Repeat this process for 5 minutes. Let the ball of dough sit for 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a long rectangular shape making as thin as possible. Cut the dough with the pasta cutter into long rectangular strips of about 7 inches long and ¾ of an inch wide. If you think the strip of dough is too thick then pull it gently. Take the strip and pinch at the top and put to other palm and start rolling – don’t press too much because we want a hollow space in the middle of the pasta. This will hold the pasta sauce better. Lay the individual pieces (careful not to touch so they don’t stick together) on the table and sprinkle with flour, then let dry for 20 minutes.

Make a cut in the middle of the chestnuts and boil them until they are soft. Remove the shell and chop into very small pieces and set aside. Chop the onion and place in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of garlic. Next add the sausage and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes while the onions brown and carmelize. Add the white wine to glaze and cook for a few minutes to reduce. Add the milk and chestnut pieces and stir, allowing to reduce. Add more milk if needed until you reach the proper consistency for the creamy sauce. See picture. Remove the pasta from the boiling water and add to the skillet with the sauce. Add a ladel of the hot water you boiled the pasta in and parmesan. Hover the skillet over the heat allowing the parmesan to melt. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Eggplant Croquet

1 medium eggplant
½ c parmesan
1 egg
2 c left over (or even stale) bread
1 c grated pecorino cheese
Fresh herbs from the garden
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of vegetable (carrot, celery, onion, mushroom bottom, etc…)

Use 2 cups of leftover bread. If the bread is too soft you can bake in the oven until it
becomes hard. Place the bread, pecorino herbs, garlic and vegetable into a food processor and
blend. Add one egg and ½ c parmesan, a pinch of salt and mix well. Peel the eggplant and cut into one inch
slices then steam them until they are soft. Strain the water then mash the eggplant with the breadcrumb mixture.
Make a small ball and coat with the beaten egg and then coat the croquet with the breadcrumbs. You can bake
them for 10 minutes at 350° F or fry in oil, turning frequently, until you reach a golden brown color.

Hope you enjoyed today's posts! See you next time!

your Chef,