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Chestnut "worms" with all sorts of mushrooms

"If, like me, you find comfort in the sweet, earthy mealiness of chestnuts, then this is your dish," says Moran. "These worms are right at home wriggling among all sorts of mushrooms. The potato skins in this recipe can be deep-fried for great snacks, or crumbled and scattered over this dish for added crunch."

You'll need

500 gm chestnuts 250 ml milk 1 kg Nicola potatoes (about 16) 1 handful coarse salt 250 gm plain flour, plus extra for rolling 1 large egg (70gm), lightly whisked Finely grated nutmeg 160 ml olive oil 1 kg various mushrooms, such as pine, slippery jack, king brown, Swiss brown or field, thinly sliced, or shimeji, broken into clumps 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 200 ml chicken or vegetable stock 1 handful (2 cups) rocket, coarsely sliced To serve: finely grated aged goat’s cheese or parmesan


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Make a small slit in each chestnut using a sharp knife and roast until slightly split (20 minutes). Peel using a small sharp knife while still hot (wear rubber gloves), place chestnut meat in a saucepan with milk, bring to a simmer gently, covered, until all the milk has evaporated (around 20 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, prick potatoes all over with a fork. Scatter salt over a large oven tray, place potatoes on the salt and bake until tender when tested with a skewer (about 1 hour). Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh and, in batches, push through a potato ricer along with chestnut meat onto a clean work bench.
  • 03
  • Scatter flour evenly over potato and chestnut mixture. Drizzle egg over, add nutmeg and salt to taste, then bring dough together using a pastry scraper, chopping and scraping to combine (avoid kneading dough). Form into a ball and wrap in a damp cloth. Cut off a piece of dough, flour your hands, then roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a pencil-thick length and cut into pieces 10cm-15cm long. Transfer to a lightly floured tray, cover with a damp cloth and repeat with remaining dough.
  • 04
  • Heat 100ml oil in a frying pan, add a third of the mushrooms, season to taste and sauté until caramelised (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a large plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining mushrooms, then wipe pan clean and return to heat with remaining oil.
  • 05
  • Cook chestnut worms in a saucepan of boiling salted water until they rise to the surface (1-2 minutes). Drain, add to frying pan and cook, swirling occasionally, until lightly caramelised (7 minutes), adding garlic during the last minute of cooking. Deglaze pan with stock, bring to the boil, add mushrooms and all juices, rocket and cheese, toss together and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

2010 Pimpernel Pinot Noir.

Featured in

Jun 2014

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