Gnocchi with Ham and Chestnuts

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.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: First Courses

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2024 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Serve.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • 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

Gnocchi with Ham and Chestnuts

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….

6 thoughts on “Gnocchi with Ham and Chestnuts”

  1. I love gnocchi. I could eat it all day long. Well, I couldn’t, I’d gain 50 pounds, but you know what I mean. 😉

    I don’t like the ‘gifted’ word or so many of the other words and phrases that are being pushed now because you’re right. They do sound pretentious. I tried ‘gifted’ on a couple times. I realized I didn’t feel comfortable using it. Maybe it’s because it’s not me, maybe it’s because…never mind. Not going there. But I agree with you.

    Today, I’m finishing up the last of the turkey carcass that I didn’t freeze. I did freeze the legs and the back, but I’ve been simmering the breastbone, wings and other flotsam for the past two days now for soup. I’ll clean it all and finish it up today and that will be that. We’ll have soup for two days and I have some french bread in the freezer so at least I can get a few meals out of my ridiculously large turkey!

    • I doubt that I could fit a large, US size turkey in my oven. I buy a thigh/leg for soup a few times over the winter, I can get capons at Christmas which are a reasonable size, but I haven’t stuffed a big turkey in years. The only thing I miss is the leftovers lol

      • I did use ‘gifted’ for those three tomato plants but that was the word used when they were given to me. It’s funny. I didn’t pull them from the pots in time and everything is frozen in place now. I just pushed them down into the pots so they wouldn’t look so forlorn and will pull them when the weather warms in the spring. We’re finishing the last of the turkey soup this weekend. I froze enough meat and the legs and back which I didn’t simmer, for another round of soup later in the winter. That was a big turkey!

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