Italian sausage & chestnut pasta

Italian sausage & chestnut pasta

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(54 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 6
A mix of sausagemeat and chestnut chunks creates a rich and nutty pasta sauce, lifting this from an everyday dish to something special

Nutrition and extra info

  • sauce only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal576
  • fat23g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre3g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.7g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 450g pack Lincolnshire sausage, meat squeezed out
  • 200g vacuum-packed chestnut from a can or jar, very roughly chopped (see tip, below)



    'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 1 tsp fennel seed
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 1 glass full-bodied red wine
  • 500g carton passata
  • 500g large pasta shells or pappardelle
  • small pack curly parsley, finely chopped
  • parmesan or Grana Padano, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and fry the onion for 5 mins. Once starting to soften, add the sausagemeat and chestnuts, and fry for another 10-12 mins, breaking the meat up with a wooden spatula or spoon as you fry it. Keep the heat quite high and stir often.

  2. When the meat and chestnuts are golden brown, add the garlic, rosemary and fennel seeds, and cook for 2 mins more. Splash in the wine, let most of it boil away, then tip in the passata. Cover and simmer the sauce for 10 mins while you boil the pasta in plenty of salted water, following pack instructions.

  3. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta well. Toss the pasta, 3 tbsp of the water, the ragu and most of the parsley together, then season to taste. Share between bowls, add a grinding of black pepper, the remaining parsley, then a handful of Parmesan shavings.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th May, 2020
This was really nice and very easy. I used 400g sausages (de-skinned) and only 180g of chestnuts but it was still lovely. I’d say it served 4 rather than 6 (although I think the amounts of pasta in the recipe is too much, maybe if I’d done the full amount of pasta I’d be saying it served 6 perfectly).
28th Apr, 2020
This meal is absolutely delicious!! I make the whole batch for two of us and it serves us both three times (only cook the pasta I need for that meal). Can't fault it at all, yum!
8th Dec, 2019
Frequently made in our house now.
littlecactuschef's picture
7th Oct, 2019
This was really delicious and made plenty for leftovers! I added some water with the passata, I think it would have been too stodgy otherwise. Will definitely make again, nice Christmassy flavours and didn't even need extra salt :-)
martyw54et's picture
16th Jun, 2019
Well that was better than I imagined I used pork and fresh chilli from my local butcher. I have never used chestnuts in a ragu before but I will be making this again wonderful dish
Dana Krumina's picture
Dana Krumina
17th Mar, 2019
Love this dish, have cooked it several times :)
mrshogan's picture
17th Oct, 2018
Delicious the whole family love it but do not substitute the sausage meat
13th Oct, 2018
This is one of my go-to-recipes when I have guests over!
9th Sep, 2018
Delicious! I made this meal this weekend and it was really good. The ragu was very tasty, with the chestnuts and sausage meat combining very well.
Bzm394's picture
23rd Jun, 2018


16th Nov, 2019
Everything was going great until the wine. I put a glass of red in and left it for ages to try to get it to boil off. It still tasted really ‘winey’ though. I ended up putting in some tomato purée to try to help it. It did taste nice but I wasn’t able to get the flavours of the sausage and chestnuts. Has anyone any suggestions so that I can still retain all the flavours. I used a red wine glass by the way should it have been a smaller white one?
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