By request of a comment on the Christmas favourites post here is the recipe for these. By the way, I am a member of the CRR (Campaign for Real Recipes) so will tell it like it is. If something is obvious I may not mention it. If something doesn't matter I may not mention it. If something is amusing I probably will.
150-200 grams prepared chestnuts. Tinned OK. Freshly boiled better but shelling them knacks your fingernails
100-150 grams puy lentils
Small onion, chopped
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper
Wash the lentils in a sieve under running water. Cook in boiling water for about 25 minutes. As they come to the boil spoon off any surface fluff. Drain. Notice house smells of cooking lentils. Don't worry. The onion and sage will cure this.
Meanwhile gently fry the onion in butter with some of the sage leaves, chopped. You want the onions soft but not brown. Set aside.
Crush the chestnuts. Put them in a bag and hit them with a rolling pin until you feel better and they feel flat. Dispose of bag.
Mix everything together and make into small cakes with your fingers. Won't stick together? Use more egg. I sometimes use a burger-shaper to make them evenly sized but uneven = rustic = more believably home-made.
Shallow fry in olive oil until crisp and showing brown edges. Can be kept and reheated. Can be frozen and cooked from frozen.
This amount of stuff will make about 4 or 5 large ones or more if they are smaller and served as an appetiser or starter.
Decorate with a sage leaf. Nice with any fruit sauce (redcurrant, cranberry, cumberland). Good for vegetarians Christmas lunch.
Recipe adapted from original by Francesco Zanchetta at Riva and cut from an unidentifiable Sunday paper some years ago.