Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turtej cu la Cua alla Castagne con Sugo Fagiano

This is a great pasta to warm up the winter months with. It is hearty, yet light at the same time showing the great balance that Italian cuisine possesses. This is a great way to use leftover chestnuts from the open fire. Since the filling has a delicate flavor the sauce has to be just as delicate not to overwhelm the pasta. For that reason, I have used pheasant for the sauce. Duck, quail, squab or goose would be too strong in this case.

Serves 4

TT = to taste

For Pasta:
1.25 cup AP Flour
2/3 cup Chestnut or hazelnut Flour
2 lg eggs
pinch of salt
water if needed

Mix ingredients together
knead for 5-10 minutes
wrap in plastic and let rest for an hour
Roll out dough to second thinnest setting
cut dough into 2"x3" rectangles
place 1t of filling in the center of each rectangle
starting with the longer end facing North/South, pull the top left corner down and towards the middle
then do the same with the top right corner down towards the middle
then bring the left side down and towards the middle
then the right again for 3-4 times each total to have a braided shape
pinch and slightly stretch the bottom piece into a little tail about 1/2 inch long (cu la cua = with a tail).
Repeat with remaining pasta
Place the ravioli on a parchment lined sheet tray sprinkled with flour
Once they are all on, place sheet tray in freezer for 1 hour to dry and harden the ravioli

For Filling:
85g Roasted Peeled Chestnuts
100g Ricotta Cheese (preferably homemade - see recipe on this blog)
1 lg egg
1 sm. clove garlic minced
TT salt
TT cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor
puree until smooth
taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary

For Sauce:
1 Pheasant around 3.5-4#, cut into 8 pieces(wings, breasts, legs, thighs)
1/2 yellow onion, sm dice
1 celery rib, sm dice
1/2 carrot, sm dice
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup red wine
1 qt chicken stock(preferably homemade ro low sodium)
2T Butter, unsalted
2T olive oil
TT salt
TT fresh ground black pepper

Heat butter and oil in dutch oven over med - med/high heat
season the pheasant with salt and pepper
sear the meat skin side down and all over until golden brown
add the onions, carrots, celery & garlic and saute until softened over medium heat
add thyme and rosemary and saute for one minute
add the red wine and reduce by 1/2
add the chicken stock and bring to a boil
lower heat to simmer, cover and braise for 1-2 hours(meat should be very tender
remove pheasant from the dutch oven and pick the meat from the bones
Save skin, bones & carcass for making stock.
Skim any fat that renders in the cooking liquid
return pheasant to dutch oven
simmer and reduce liquid by half
taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary
set aside and keep warm.

Serving & garnish:
parmigiano reggiano
sage leaves fried in butter until crispy if desired

Bring 6 qts of water and a 1/4 cup of salt to a boil
drop the pasta in batches and cook for 4-5 minutes
Heat the pheasant sauce over medium heat
Once pasta is ready, drop the pasta into the sauce and cook for 1 extra minute.
Be careful when tossing the sauce and pasta together so you don't break or tear the ravioli.
Transfer pasta with sauce to individual plates.
Garnish with shaved or grated parmigiano reggiano and a few fried sage leaves
Serve immediately