Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti with Mascarpone and Fried Sage

Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti with Mascarpone and Fried Sage
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About This Recipe

In the heart of Napa Valley, where the art of winemaking meets culinary creativity, there lies an exceptional dish that captures the essence of the region – Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti with Mascarpone and Fried Sage. This recipe is not just a testament to the lush, vibrant flavors of Northern California but also a reflection of the local culinary ethos that cherishes seasonal ingredients and simple yet sophisticated cooking.

The foundation of this dish lies in its carefully chosen ingredients. Roasted chestnuts, an autumn staple in Napa, bring a sweet, nutty depth to the filling, beautifully complementing the earthy tones of the mixed mushrooms. The use of locally sourced mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster, adds layers of flavor and texture that are characteristic of the region's bountiful produce. When sautéed with finely chopped onion and minced garlic, these ingredients meld together to form a filling that is both robust and comforting.

Mascarpone cheese, with its creamy and rich profile, is stirred into the mushroom and chestnut mixture, adding a luxurious smoothness that elevates the dish. This Italian cheese, although not native to Napa, is a nod to the Valley's appreciation for global flavors harmoniously blended with local ingredients. Parmesan cheese and a mix of fresh parsley and thyme further infuse the filling with aromatic warmth, making each bite a delightful experience.

The preparation of agnolotti, a type of Italian pasta similar to ravioli, is a labor of love. Fresh pasta sheets are spooned with the chestnut-mushroom mixture, folded, and sealed, creating little pockets of flavor that cook to perfection in boiling water. What makes this dish truly stand out is the finishing touch of fried sage leaves in butter, adding a crispy, fragrant element that contrasts beautifully with the soft, pillowy pasta. A sprinkle of fennel pollen, a spice that captures the essence of the Mediterranean in a single pinch, completes the dish, offering a subtle hint of licorice that plays well with the other flavors.

When it comes to pairing this dish with wine, the choices are as thoughtful as the ingredients. A Pinot Noir, such as those from Domaine Carneros, offers a delicate balance of fruit and earthiness that complements the mushrooms and chestnuts without overpowering them. Alternatively, a Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena or Far Niente brings a creamy, buttery texture that harmonizes wonderfully with the mascarpone and enhances the overall richness of the agnolotti.

To round out the meal, consider serving this dish with a simple arugula salad dressed in a lemon vinaigrette, offering a light, refreshing contrast to the richness of the pasta. For a more substantial menu, a grilled vegetable antipasto or a crisp, artisanal bread would make excellent accompaniments, turning this dish into a heartwarming feast.

Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti with Mascarpone and Fried Sage is more than just a recipe; it's an ode to Napa Valley's culinary landscape. This dish, with its thoughtful blend of local and global flavors, invites you to savor each bite, accompanied by a glass of exquisite wine, in true Napa style. Whether as part of a festive dinner or a cozy family meal, it promises to bring a piece of wine country right to your table.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Chestnuts

Chestnuts, often hailed as the unsung heroes of autumnal cooking, are the cornerstone of our Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti recipe. These earthy nuts are not just flavorful but also carry a sweet, slightly nutty taste that perfectly complements the savory mushrooms in the dish. Rich in vitamins and minerals, chestnuts add a depth of flavor and a unique texture that transforms the agnolotti into something truly special. Sourced from the bountiful groves of Northern California, these chestnuts embody the essence of Napa Valley's seasonal produce.

How To Roast and Peel Chestnuts

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Set your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Score the Chestnuts: Using a sharp knife, make a large X on the flat side of each chestnut. This allows steam to escape and prevents them from bursting.
  3. Roasting: Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes. They should open at the X and become tender.
  4. Peeling While Warm: Once roasted, wrap the chestnuts in a clean towel and squeeze them gently. This makes the peeling process easier. Peel them while they are still warm, as the skin hardens and adheres to the nut as it cools.

FAQs

  1. Can I Use Store-Bought Chestnut Puree? Yes, you can use store-bought chestnut puree if fresh chestnuts are unavailable. However, adjust the quantity as the puree is more concentrated in flavor.
  2. What Are Good Substitutes for Mascarpone Cheese? If mascarpone cheese is not available, you can use a blend of cream cheese and heavy cream (or crème fraîche) as a substitute.
  3. How Do I Store Leftover Agnolotti? Store the cooked agnolotti in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently to avoid them becoming too soft.
  4. Is There a Gluten-Free Option for This Recipe? Absolutely! Use gluten-free pasta sheets for the agnolotti or make your own gluten-free pasta dough.
  5. Can I Prepare This Dish in Advance? Yes, you can prepare the filling and pasta sheets in advance. Store them separately in the fridge, and assemble and cook the agnolotti when ready to serve.

Tips for Success

  1. Freshness Matters: Use the freshest mushrooms you can find. They should be firm, not slimy, and free of blemishes. This ensures the best flavor and texture in your dish.
  2. Seal the Agnolotti Well: When sealing your agnolotti, press out as much air as possible to prevent them from bursting during cooking. A good seal also keeps the filling inside where it belongs.
  3. Balance the Flavors: When seasoning the filling, remember that the mascarpone and Parmesan will add richness and saltiness. Balance this with the earthiness of the mushrooms and chestnuts for a well-rounded flavor profile.

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Chestnut & Mushroom Agnolotti with Mascarpone and Fried Sage
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Fall
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
450
Prep Time:
PT45M
Cook Time:
PT35M
Total Time:
PT1H20M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup roasted chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster), finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Fresh pasta sheets (about 4 large sheets)
  • 1/4 cup sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until soft.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and become golden.
  3. Stir in chestnuts, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
  4. In a bowl, combine mushroom-chestnut mixture with mascarpone and Parmesan. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  5. Lay out pasta sheets and place teaspoon-sized amounts of filling evenly spaced. Brush edges with water, fold over, and press to seal, forming agnolotti.
  6. Cut between each agnolotti and press edges to ensure they are sealed.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook agnolotti for 3-4 minutes until they float to the surface.
  8. In a separate pan, melt butter and fry sage leaves until crisp. Remove sage and set aside.
  9. Drain agnolotti and toss gently in the sage-infused butter.
  10. Serve agnolotti garnished with fried sage leaves and a sprinkle of fennel pollen.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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