Reprinted from Blue Apron
In this recipe, we’re celebrating the season by using chestnuts two ways. This fresh pasta is made with ground chestnuts, giving it unique flavor and texture. And in the pasta sauce, we’re combining vegetables, chestnuts and ghee (a type of clarified butter popular in traditional Indian cuisine). The result is a delightful, crunchy and incredibly flavorful dish that’s perfect for the season.
Makes 2 servings; about 670 calories per serving
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Roughly chop the chestnuts. Cut off and discard the root ends of the Brussels sprouts. Remove and discard the tough, outer leaves; pick off the remaining leaves until you reach the core of the sprout. Discard the core; place the leaves in a bowl. Quarter the carrots lengthwise. Remove and discard the root and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve the leek lengthwise; thoroughly rinse between the layers. Thinly slice the leek crosswise. Pick the parsley and mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and slightly tender. Add the leeks and half a cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the leek has softened. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
In the same pan used to cook the carrots and leeks, melt half the ghee on medium heat. Once melted, add the chestnuts and Brussels sprout leaves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the Brussels sprout leaves are bright green and the chestnuts are warmed through. Stir in the cooked carrots and leek; season with salt and pepper.
While the chestnuts and Brussels sprouts cook, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserve half a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta thoroughly. Transfer the cooked pasta directly to the pan of vegetables. Add a quarter cup of the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce. (If the sauce seems dry, slowly add the remaining reserved pasta water until you achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat.
Off the heat, add the poppy seeds, Parmesan cheese and remaining ghee to the pan of pasta; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta between two dishes. Garnish with the mint, parsley and granulated honey. Enjoy!
Ghee, a special Indian ingredient, is a lot like clarified (or drawn) butter. It's clearer and lacks the milk solids and water found in normal butter. This means two things. First, the taste is much richer than butter. Second, because ghee doesn't have the milk solids, it won't brown or burn the way normal butter would. It can be heated to extremely high temperatures and maintain its full, clean flavor.