Serves 4 TO 6
Although you can use jarred or canned chestnuts, freshly boiled and peeled chestnuts are delicious and worth the time it takes. Just do not overcook them, since they will cook with the sauce as well. This recipe is a delicious side to serve with grilled and roasted meats, especially game meats, but it also makes a good bruschetta topping; or try it as a dressing for whole-wheat pasta.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 1½ pounds mixed mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle), thickly sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped chestnuts, freshly cooked and peeled, canned, or jarred
To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Once the garlic is sizzling, add the shallots. Cook and stir until almost tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, thyme, and salt. Cover, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, and increase the heat to reduce away the liquid in the pan, cooking about 2 minutes. Make a space in the pan, and add the tomato paste. Cook and stir the paste in that spot until it toasts and darkens a shade or two, about 2 minutes, then stir into the mushrooms.
Add the chestnuts and 2 cups hot water. Cover, and simmer until the chestnuts just begin to fall apart and thicken the sauce, about 15 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to reduce the sauce to your liking, if necessary.