These chestnut rags, or stracci di castagne, are mildly nutty in flavor. If you own a KitchenAid stand mixer, make the pasta using the dough hook attachment; this is what I do in the restaurant. You can vary the dish by omitting the butter, drizzling the pasta with truffle oil, and tossing with crushed, roasted hazelnuts for extra texture.–Maria Elia
LC However You Go About This Note
Author Maria Elia offers some lovely shortcuts and embellishments above for this autumnal vegetarian dish that’s eminently easy to assemble ahead of time and toss together at the last second. But we’ve a few more suggestions. Like using this recipe with any homemade or store-bought pasta if you can’t find the requisite “00” flour at the moment the craving strikes. (Do, though, try the chestnut pasta at some point. It’s life-changing.) Take a rain check on the chestnuts if you can’t find them, omitting them or tossing in a handful of toasted pecans in their place. And consider adding roasted carrots or winter squash to lend some vibrancy to the pasta. However you go about it, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Oh, and as for cooking those Brussels sprouts ahead of time? Do as you please, although we have to say, to keep the sprouts from turning into sulfurous little stink bombs, we love to pluck their curved little leaves, one by one, and sauté them in butter just until tender throughout and crisp at the edges.
Pasta Rags with Wild Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
- For the pasta
- 8.8 ounces "00" flour, plus more for the work surface
- 2 ounces vacuum-packed chestnuts, blitzed to a fine powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- Few drops olive oil
- Semolina (optional)
- For the vegetables
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 to 9 ounces wild mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 to 9 ounces (250 grams) Brussels sprouts, cooked however you please, whether blanched or steamed or roasted or leaves plucked and sautéed (see LC Note)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces cooked chestnuts, quartered
- For serving
- Sage Brown Butter
- 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
- Make the pasta
- 1. If you are mixing by hand, combine the flour and chestnuts on a work surface. Form them into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and oil to the well and, using your fingertips, gradually mix in more and more of the flour until most of it is incorporated. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, knead the pasta for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and elastic, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, during which time the dough will soften.
If you are using a food processor, combine the flour and chestnuts, keep the motor running and slowly add the eggs and oil, mixing until it just comes together. (If you overwork the mixture it will become too warm.) On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, knead the pasta for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and elastic, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and toss in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight, during which time the dough will become much more flexible.
- 2. Unwrap the dough and return it to a lightly floured surface. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with semolina or “00” flour. Press the dough gently to flatten. Cut the dough in half and roll each portion through a pasta machine several times, starting at the thickest setting and ending at the thinnest. (If you don’t own a pasta machine, use a rolling pin to roll it as thin as you can.) Using a knife or a pizza wheel, cut each sheet of pasta into 2-inch (5 cm) diamond-shaped rags. Place the pasta rags on the baking sheet sprinkled with semolina and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. (At this point you can cover and refrigerate the pasta rags for up to 3 days.)
- Make the vegetables
- 3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they’ve released their liquid and are golden brown at the edges. Most of the liquid should have evaporated by now. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- 4. If using whole Brussels sprouts, halve or quarter them, depending on their size. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat and warm the sprouts and chestnuts until heated through and tender.
- Serve the pasta
- 5. Cook the pasta in a large pan of generously salted boiling water until al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. (I always salt the cooking water, rather than the pasta dough.) Toss the mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and chestnuts with the pasta rags and the Sage Browned Butter, season with salt and pepper, and strew some shaved Parmesan over the top.