Funghi e Castagne Alla Panna – chestnuts and mushrooms in a cream sauce

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This combination of chestnuts and mushrooms in a cream sauce makes an elegant addition to a Thanksgiving table.

Serves 8

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh chestnuts prepared as in above recipe, leave whole
  • 1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T. butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. medium white or cremini mushrooms
  • S & P
  • 1/4 C. dry Marsala
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1/2 C. heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 T. parsley, minced


Prepare the chestnuts: Prepare the chestnuts by very carefully cutting an X on the hard bottom side of each nut. Place them in a pot of boiling water and cook about 10-15 minutes or just until tender. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, remove chestnuts from water 1 at a time to peel. Alternately, place the cut chestnuts on a baking sheet in a 400° oven and roast until tender and easy to peel, about 15-25 minutes. Peel outer shells and the thin brown underskin while still warm. Cut each chestnut in half, reserve.

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Trim off the very end of the mushroom stem where the soil collects; cut the mushrooms into quarters.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms lightly brown. Add the Marsala and the thyme, cook over higher heat until most of the liquid evaporates.
  3. Add the chestnuts and the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cream has slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with minced parsley.