Creamy egg pasta with Ummera smoked chicken, thyme, ceps and chestnuts by Trish Deseine

Trish Deseine

Ummera Smokehouse has been gently smoking premium Irish produce over smouldering oak fires in West Cork since 1988.  Now their produce – salmon, bacon, chicken and duck - is available in many European countries and of course Ardkeen Quality Food Store gives it pride of place.

Luxurious pasta dishes are a great way to get yourself into a decadent Christmas groove and spoil your guests during the festive run-up.  They can be rather hands on and last minute but allow a welcome informality, not to mention spontaneity for last minute invitations.

This sweet & savoury, creamy sauce is the perfect foil for Ummera’s moist, smoky chicken breast. And makes it go a little further! After a few equally delicious & luxurious bites with cocktails, serve the pasta with a crisp green salad on the side and there’s no need for starters.

Serves 4-6 | 25 mins prep

Ingredients

  • ​1 pack of Rustichella d'Abruzzo Tagliatelle
  • 250g fresh mushrooms, washed, dried and chopped
  • OR 1 jar dried ceps
  • 1 echalote or half a small onion, finely chopped
  • 400/500ml fresh cream
  • A good pinch of fresh thyme or oregano
  • 1 packet chestnuts
  • ​salt, pepper
  • 75g butter
  • 1 Ummera smoked chicken breast, with the skin on, sliced.
  • Fresh parmesan for grating

Method

If you are using the dried ceps, prepare them 2 or 3 hours beforehand. You will need to rinse them and then soak in boiling water for an hour or so. Drain them well & pat dry with kitchen paper before cooking them into the sauce.

Bring a (very) large pan of slightly salted water to the boil.  It will take a while so prepare the rest of the ingredients during this time.

The chestnuts need to be heated through in their vacpac (and then removed from it!) before cooking.

In a large, deep, non-stick frying pan, heat the butter until it sizzles. Add the echalote or onions and fry until softened – do not brown them too quickly. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, add the thyme and fry on! When they are nicely browned, pour in the cream and mix, scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure you get all the tasty cooking bits. When the cream starts to boil, take it off the heat immediately, drop in the chestnuts, crumbling them slightly into uneven pieces and heat them through.

Leave the sauce to infuse. Cook the pasta for a few minutes to al dente, drain and add to the pan if it’s big enough, otherwise, put the drained pasta back in the large pan and pour in the sauce. Season and spoon into deep bowls. Pouring extra sauce over the top and stirring the sliced chicken through the mix.

Serve piping hot with grated parmesan.

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