Italian sausage & chestnut pasta

Italian sausage & chestnut pasta

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(22 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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Saize's picture
18th Nov, 2017
Beautiful dish. The whole family absolutely loved it and with the garlic bread on the side, it just finished the meal off perfectly.
DanJ1980's picture
20th Nov, 2016
This is a great dish.. ideal for an easy entertaining meal with great effect. Lots of lovely flavours and textures. This is our new family favourite!!
28th Dec, 2015
This was really tasty. Very rich, hearty meal. The chestnuts were delicious. Will be trying again with lean mince and herbs rather than sausage meat for a healthier alternative. Served on baby spinach for a dinner for 2 and then 2 leftover lunches the next day (we have big appetites - not sure it would have made 6 meals for us!)
7th Apr, 2017
Was too dry using lean mince and herbs. Will stick to sausage meat!!
26th Jul, 2015
Delicious but very rich. Perfect for a casual dinner party.
15th Jul, 2015
I loved it it was dielcious and I would definitely make it again
7th Feb, 2015
Totally delicious! had it with a boiled corn on the cob rather than pasta to cut down on the carbs. Really special, the chestnuts absolutely make it!
2nd Feb, 2015
I made this last night for Sunday night dinner and it was amazing. I followed the recipe to the letter and couldn't believe that such a simple list of ingredients, and such an easy recipe could turn out to taste so great! As someone else commented, it is a restaurant quality dish and is better than a lot of ragus I've had at some fancy Italian restaurants. This will have a firm place on our household's regular menu. Portion wise, it is either 3 generous portions or 4 normal, perfectly adequate portions. I have the third portion for lunch today and I cannot wait to eat it again!
20th Jan, 2015
I made this exactly as stated (and managed to get it to 6 decent sized portions with the promise of dessert) with the exception of the sausages. I used Toulouse sausages this time, and they were great, next time I'll use the Lincolnshire as a variation.
29th Sep, 2014
Unfortunately my family hated this. The children couldn't stand the chestnuts but they didn't like the flavour anyway. Thumbs down all round because the fennel was too overpowering. I thought it was ok,but the majority went in th bin.


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