Chestnuts are a nostalgic tradition all over Europe, including Italy. Popular in both sweet and savoury recipes, this dish showcases their taste alongside venison in a rich casserole.
- 1 litre red wine
- 200 ml red wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1 kg venison leg, boned and chopped into 3 cm chunks
- plain flour, to dust
- vegetable oil for pan-frying
- 20 pearl onions
- 20 small mushrooms
- 100 g lardons of bacon
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 200 ml brandy
- 300 ml reduced veal stock
- 20 chestnuts, roasted and peeled
Chestnut flour pasta
- 250 g chestnut flour
- 150 g plain flour
- 1 egg plus 2 yolks
- 30 ml water
Truffle flour pasta
- 100 g truffle flour
- 440 g plain flour
- 2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
- 30 ml water
- salt to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine red wine, vinegar, and bay leaf. Add venison to marinate.
Dust meat in flour. Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown meat to seal.
In a separate casserole dish, fry the pearl onion, mushroom and bacon in vegetable oil until translucent. Season with pepper and coriander. Add the meat. Add the brandy and flambé.
Pour over the marinade plus the veal stock. Add chestnuts. Bring to simmering point then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for about 1.5 hours.
When cooked, add plenty of fresh black pepper and stir in a little butter.
To make pasta, sift together the flours and make a well in the centre. Break in the eggs and using a little water, combine with the flour. Add more water as necessary to achieve a firm, pliable dough.
Roll out to number 1 thickness on a pasta machine so that the dough is wafer-thin. Cut into tagliatelle.
Cook in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes or until pasta rises to the surface.
Drain the pasta and toss in oil with chopped thyme and sage or diced, roasted chestnuts.