Need help....flavour combination with chestnuts?

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I need to pick the collective CookingBites brain.....

I've got family coming over on Friday but I'm not sure when they'll be arriving so I something I can prepare ahead of time and then just take it out of the fridge and stick in the oven whilst we get on with the more important activity of catching up with what's been going on with each other. We all love pasta so I was planning on doing a pasta bake using some of the tomatoes and swiss chard I have in the garden.

I've been given some pork & chestnut stuffing by my MIL (found in her freezer, left over from Christmas) and having never been particularly fond of chestnuts I'm not sure exactly what it will taste like, but I hate waste so I need to find a way to use it up. So I've had an idea to make the stuffing into small meatballs and use it in the pasta bake. If it was pork, sage and onion stuffing I know it would work absolutely fine.....but I really don't know whether chestnuts will go with tomatoes...what do you think? And what about chestnuts and cheese? Because we can't have a pasta bake without cheese on top!
 

Morning Glory

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I really don't know whether chestnuts will go with tomatoes...what do you think? And what about chestnuts and cheese? Because we can't have a pasta bake without cheese on top!

Chestnuts and tomatoes sounds wrong to me. Its to do with earthy flavours meeting fresher tangy flavours. They can simply clash. Its a bit like using mushrooms. Its difficult to make them work in a tomato sauce.

If the pork is quite dominant in the mix you should get away with it. They will taste like meatballs. Cheese is OK with chestnuts, in my view. I would.

I’d add also a bit of chopped sage or rosemary

Good idea.

I would make the little meatballs (quite small I think) and then do a taste test with the tomato sauce you are making.
 
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Pork&Chestnut into small meatballs it’s amazing, I’d add also a bit of chopped sage or rosemary - they work very well with chestnuts.
Nice idea! We have plenty of sage and rosemary in the garden too :okay:

Sprouts, if they were in season. Also bacon, pancetta etc - would go well in a pasta dish with a creamy sauce.
The sprouts aren't ready yet...they still have a fair amount of growing to do :wink: But I think the swiss chard will go well.

I like your idea of a creamy sauce though....I usually do tomato sauce in a pasta bake (because its lower in calories) so I hadn't thought about a creamy sauce. I quite like the idea of a white sauce with cream cheese to thicken it and give it some body, instead of double cream.

Chestnuts and tomatoes sounds wrong to me. Its to do with earthy flavours meeting fresher tangy flavours. They can simply clash. Its a bit like using mushrooms. Its difficult to make them work in a tomato sauce.
That's what I was afraid of. I don't really know how strong the chestnut flavour in the stuffing will be and I've not really having cooked with chestnuts before so I just wasn't sure that it would go with tomato (a little voice inside was telling me it just doesn't sound right).

I'm not going to have time to do a taste test sadly.....I'll be doing the prep and assembling the dish during my lunch break, so time is limited. Plus if the flavours didn't work I'd be totally stuck because I wouldn't have anything to feed people with that evening. But I think epicuric has made a fabulous suggestion though...using a creamy sauce instead of tomato.

Thanks all.....as always....CookingBites comes to the rescue :okay:
 

LissaC

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Here in Portugal roasted pork with chestnuts is a popular dish and fairly easy to make. It's just roasted pork with chestnuts, salt, onions, garlic and white whine. This is if you want to go the "lazy" route.
 
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