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Lucca, Italy: Pasta with Roasted Chestnuts, Bacon & Fried Sage Leaves

Posted by Peggy on November 9, 2012

Pasta with Roasted Chestnuts, Bacon and Sage
Recipe: Pasta with Roasted Chestnuts, Bacon & Sage


  • 16-24 fresh chestnuts, the largest your can find
  • 8 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups); pancetta may be substituted
  • 1 leek, well-washed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage, plus a small intact bunch for frying, if desired
  • 8-12 ounces dried pasta*
  • Grated romano or Parmigianno Reggiano


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. With a sharp knife, score an “x” through the skin on the flat side of each chestnut. Place chestnuts on a large, shallow sheet pan and roast, shaking pan once, 25-35 minutes, depending on size of nut. When cool enough to handle, peel, slice and reserve.
  3. While chestnuts are roasting, In a large heavy bottomed pan, fry bacon until most of fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. (If using friend sage leaf garnish, fry in rendered bacon fat at this time until browned, then remove and drain.) Add leeks to pan and continue cooking an additional 4 minutes; stirring. Stir in garlic and reserved chestnuts and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in sage and remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions or until al dente.
  5. Toss pasta with bacon-chestnut mixture and season with freshly ground pepper and grated cheese, to taste. Garnish with fried sage leaves, if using.

*I used a flat, leaf-shaped pasta from Hillers (the size of a chestnut), but orrechiette, tagliatelle or a chestnut pasta may be substituted.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Time if using Fresh Chestnuts: 1 hour Time (if using frozen or bottled chestnuts): 30 minutes Copyright © Peggy Lampman's dinnerFeed.