Pappardelle with Beef Ragù and Chestnuts
OK, now if this pasta dish has you drooling, let me tell you it’s really easy to make and so delicious you’ll be eating seconds and thirds and fending off marriage proposals from anyone who tries it. Of course, that assumes you make your own pappardelle, following the instructions here. But if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own pasta and instead buy a good quality pappardelle, and serve this ragù as the accompaniment, you’re still likely to have suitors filling up your dance card after they fill their stomachs.
It all starts with that beef stew I recently posted. I asked you to put some aside in the freezer for a reason (before adding the peas and carrots.)
When you defrost it, add a 1/2 can of Italian cherry tomatoes with the juices. It’s not the same with fresh cherry tomatoes, so make sure you buy the canned ones. If it’s hard to find canned cherry tomatoes where you live, you can buy them online at many places, including here. By the way, I have no financial interest in this brand or any other, so choose whatever brand you like.
After you’ve added the tomatoes, some wine, chestnuts and a little seasoning, let everything simmer for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to blend the flavors. You’ll get a thick and flavorful ragù that is just begging for some pasta to keep it company.
I was lucky to find fresh chestnuts from Italy in the produce section at my local grocery store. You’ll see plenty of sealed bags of chestnuts on the shelves that are already peeled and cooked, but they come from China, and I’m leery of the quality control, so I always seek out the Italian ones. The fresh ones are not that hard to cook and clean. Just cut a slit or make a cross cut in each chestnut; place them in a pan with cold water; let it come to a boil; boil for two or three minutes, then drain the water and roast the chestnuts in a 425 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. They should be fully cooked by then. It’s easier to peel them when they’re hot, and some of the skins will peel off easily. Others are a little more resistant, but for this recipe it doesn’t matter if the chestnuts come off in one piece. You’ll be breaking them up to put in the sauce anyway. (But munch a few with a good glass of wine while you’re peeling them too!)
Get the pasta water boiling (“Butta la pasta,” as we say in Italian) and add the pappardelle, then toss the pasta with the sauce.
My mouth is watering just looking at this dish. By the way, you can freeze any of those chestnuts if you’ve cooked more than you need for this recipe. With chestnut season so short, you’ll be glad you did. As the dish below says, take your photo first, then dig in.
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- 2 cups leftover beef stew (without carrots or peas or potatoes - just the meat and the sauce)
- 1 cup canned cherry tomatoes with the juice (1/2 of a 14 oz. can)
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon of finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1 cup cooked chestnuts, broken into pieces
- pappardelle (about 1 lb.)
- Take the leftover beef stew, and cut, or shred the chunks of beef into small pieces.
- Place the beef in a saucepan with the canned cherry tomatoes, the wine, the chestnuts and the rosemary and let it all simmer for about ½ hour to 45 minutes.
- Boil the pasta until it is cooked and toss gently with the sauce.
Are you available? Cause that proposal is headed your way if you’ll just make this for me.
Sorry Jim – I think my husband would object. 😊
Linda, I would definitely go for seconds of your Pappardelle with Beef Ragù and Chestnuts. I love pappardelle and love the way it soaks up the sauce when it’s fresh made. I’m with you on the China QC thing. Luckily we can easily get Italian chestnuts from our market. I love to roast them and enjoy that smell, but I’ve not had them in a pasta dish. Great idea…
My mouth is watering, too! Pappardelle are one of my favorite pastas. There’s something about their width that makes them so satisfying. And they take perfectly to hefty sauces like this one. Pure comfort food!
I love making pappardelle fresh, and this sauce sounds so extra special with the chestnuts added to it–perfect for a Christmas dinner pasta course.
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