Our little region in France is noted for 2 things: tomatoes and prunes.
Tomatoes are widely grown here and there is even a variety named after one of the towns. But, for obvious reasons, tomatoes are not a big export crop.
The prunes, on the other hand, grown in and around Agen, are world-famous. Le Pruneau d’Agen have been cultivated in this area since the 12th century. The plum variety is d’Ente.
To clarify: The French word for plum is prune; the French word for prune is pruneau.
We can buy them at our local supermarkets, of course. They can be covered in chocolate, stuffed with chopped prunes, soaked in armagnac or cognac or just plain, pitted or not.
I usually buy a box or two to enjoy this time of year.
As to the rest of these ingredients: we only have about 2/3 of a package of gnocchi for a main course; I like chestnuts with Brussels sprouts but I usually have more than I need; and there are always bits of ham lurking in the fridge. This is another ‘clean out the fridge’ dish.
Think ‘Bacon-Wrapped Prunes’ deconstructed (hate that term) and expanded….
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Gnocchi with Ham and Chestnuts
The salty ham is the perfect foil for the sweet chestnuts and prunes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: First Courses
- 20 – 24 fresh gnocchi
- 3/4 cup peeled, chestnuts, cut in quarters
- 3 slices Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, torn into pieces
- 6 prunes, pitted and cut into thirds
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Heat water in a medium pot for gnocchi.
- When boiling, add the gnocchi and cook just until they all float, 1 – 2 minutes. Drain.
- Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add gnocchi and sauté until light brown, stirring and turning occasionally, 12 – 15 minutes.
- Add ham, chestnuts and sauté until ham starts to get crisp.
- Add prunes and heat through.
You can use canned (easy) or fresh chestnuts.
Fresh chestnuts take about 45 minutes to prepare before using in a recipe:
- With a sharp knife cut an ‘X’ through tough outer shell.
- Put in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Removing 1 chestnut at a time peel off shells and inner skin.
- Chestnuts must stay hot to peel easily. If they cool down too much while you are working, bring them to a boil again.
- Put peeled chestnuts into a saucepan, cover with beef broth, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.
- Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
- Calories: 373
- Sugar: 5.7 g
- Sodium: 323.6 mg
- Fat: 9.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.1 g
- Fiber: 2.7 g
- Protein: 10.3 g
- Cholesterol: 16.3 mg
Keywords: prunes, chestnuts, prosciutto
I’m lucky this year as I was given a large bag of fresh chestnuts gathered by friends.
I could have been more trendy and said: I was gifted with…. but that is also a phrase I dislike.
I know it’s grammatically correct but, to my ears, it sounds awkward, impersonal, cold, and somewhat pretentions. I find it jarring when I read it – like a splash of cold water.
I was given…..
I was gifted with…..
Nope. Don’t like that phrase – so I don’t use it. Simple.
I’ll stick with the food….