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Generously butter a 900g loaf tin and set aside. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until sizzling, then cook the parsnips and onion for 10 mins until soft and golden. Scatter in the spices and garlic, and cook for another 5 mins. While the parsnip mixture is cooking, tip the hazelnuts into a bowl with most of the cranberries and pistachios (reserving some for the topping), the chestnuts, chopped herbs, lemon zest, juice and breadcrumbs, and season well.
Add the cooked parsnip mixture to the bowl and scrunch everything together using your hands until combined. Mix in the beaten egg using a wooden spoon, then pack the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Press the reserved cranberries and pistachios into the top. The unbaked stuffing will keep covered in the fridge for up to two days or frozen for three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before baking.
Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Bake the stuffing for 1 hr until golden on top, then remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 mins. While the stuffing bakes, heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the whole sage leaves for 1 min until crisp. Remove to a sheet of kitchen paper using a slotted spoon.
When the stuffing is baked, turn out onto a serving plate or board, scatter with the crisp sage leaves, then slice and serve. If serving as a vegetarian main course, cut into thick slices and fry in a little butter until crisp on both sides, then serve with our vegan gravy (see below).