About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Crostini | Main | Sweet Potato & Brie Bites »

Gnocchi with Fall Vegetables and Chestnut Sauce

By Jerry

It seems weird to be posting a decidedly fall dish on December 24th but such is the world of blogging. Chestnuts are a late fall thing according to the book but I think Christmas might be the season - I can recall fall travels to New York and seeing old guys roasting them on the street corners. Heck, chestnuts even feature in popular Christmas songs (everybody sing along with me now . . . . chestnuts roasting on an open fire . . . Jack Frost nipping at your nose . . .).

Up until last year I had only ever seen or read about chestnuts. When I had to do my recipe for the previous blog challenge all I got to do was to boil them in red wine resulting in an OK result that was messy and made my fingers very, very wine stained for weeks causing my colleagues to worry about me.

One of the challenges with chestnuts is in cleaning those suckers. The internet is full of tales of exploding chestnuts when folks tried to roast them without cutting open the shells properly or of folks requiring extensive red wine therapy after trying to remove the bits of shells from the tender nuts. Really, there is nothing inviting about chestnuts . . . and then you taste them and think 'wow, it was worth it!' For the record, I used the technique that Amy blogged about yesterday and it worked a charm.

When I was perusing the chestnut entry in the 'Flavor Bible' I quickly realized that I go to sweet or savoury and is my style I went svoury. I combined brandy, butter, cream, mushrooms, onions, pepper, pasta, sage, stock (chicken), and thyme in this recipe. The result was amazing!!!!


Gnocchi with Fall Vegetables and Chestnut Sauce

1 lb fresh gnocchi
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms, about 6 oz
3 cups cubed winter squash, about ½ inch pieces
1 small leek, thinly sliced white and light green parts only
¾ cup chicken broth or stock, divided
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
3½ oz cleaned chestnuts, chopped, about ⅔ cup
2 tbsp brandy
½ cup whipping cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Shaved parmigiano cheese

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions, usually 3 to 4 minutes or until those little suckers float to the top of the boiling water. Drain, briefly rinse under cold running water and drain again. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in frying pan over medium to medium-high heat until hot and bubbly. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add another 1 tbsp butter to frying pan. Sauté squash cubes until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle sliced leeks and chopped sage over top. Add ¼ cup chicken broth; cover and reduce heat so vegetables simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until just tender - NOTE - do not go upstairs and visit facebook on your PC whilst this is happening as you may burn your squash if the liquid cooks off . . . just saying . Add to mushrooms; keep warm.

Chop chestnuts. Heat final 1 tbsp butter in same frying pan over medium heat until hot and bubbly. Sauté chestnuts for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned; deglaze pan with brandy (mmmmm brandy - glaze the cook's eyes titch by swigging some straight out of the bottle).

Stir in remaining ½ cup chicken broth, cream and thyme. When bubbling, add gnocchi. Cook, stirring gently, until hot and thick. Taste; add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.

In warmed serving dish, heap gnocchi and sauce. Place vegetable mixture on top of gnocchi. Garnish with sprinklings of green onion and shaved parmigiano cheese. Serve right away.

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Comments (3)


Wow! Sounds decadently rich. I like how the gnocchi and the chestnuts look so much alike.


Looks seriously delicious, Jerry!

At the Piggly Wiggly chestnuts are decidedly a Christmas ingredient... these look delish.

I've decided I'm not big on Chestnuts; which is a good thing. I can't find them in Alabama 50 weeks out of the year.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 24, 2011 6:58 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Crostini.

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