Ziti with Chestnuts and Mushrooms
Serving Size / Yield
- 15 chestnuts
- 1 oz. dried mushrooms, porcini, shiitake, black trumpets or morels
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 C. shallots, peeled and sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. ziti
Cut an "O" shape around the center of each chestnut. Place them in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove them from water, a few at a time, and peel while still hot. Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms in about 1 1/2 cups very hot water.
Bring large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Place half of the olive oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high and, one minute later, add the shallots. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Chop chestnuts into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks, then measure about 1 cup. Add them to skillet, along with a little more salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chestnuts deepen in color, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushroom from their soaking liquid; reserve and strain the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the skillet; cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add the strained mushroom-soaking liquid. Turn the heat to low and season to taste with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta-cooking water to it when the pasta is nearly done. Stir in the remaining olive oil, then drain the pasta and dress with the sauce.