This pasta was inspired by one of our all-time favorite recipes that I’ve been making since I first found it in Gourmet Magazine back in 2000 (the year we were married—how are we this old?!). The original recipe is actually for chestnut ravioli—a highly delicious but labor intensive dish—that we have always reserved for special occasions, including New Year’s Eve dinner. Let’s face it, no matter how good someone is in the kitchen, they aren’t typically whipping up from-scratch ravioli for dinner on a busy weeknight (although I do have a recipe for ravioli here if you do want to try it on the weekend!).
So instead of waiting to enjoy this deliciousness only once or twice a year, I’ve turned it into a pasta topping for store-bought noodles, and the outcome was just what I was after. Plus, to make it even more weeknight friendly, there’s no need to roast your own chestnuts. They are super easy to buy ready to use on Amazon and are even available organic! Enjoy. :)
Chestnut and Green Apple Pasta with Sage Brown Butter
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter divided
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups chestnuts roasted, shelled and skinned; finely chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple finely diced (no need to peel) and divided
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (plus extra for garnish)
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves finely chopped and patted dry
- 4 to 5 servings whole-wheat pasta cooked according to package directions
- Cook the chopped pancetta (or bacon) in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir often until it begins to crisp and brown on the edges.
- Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes while stirring until the onion begins to soften.
- Add chopped chestnuts and all but a small handful of apples to the pan along with the water. Let simmer while stirring until liquid reduces by about half.
- Turn off heat and stir in Parmesan.
- In a separate small skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves to the pan and cook while stirring until they begin to darken in color and become crispy, and the butter browns. Immediately remove from heat. This sauce can overcook easily so sometimes I even immediately remove it from the pan so it doesn't keep cooking.
- Divide the cooked pasta among 4 or 5 plates, then top with the chestnut and apple mixture and the sage brown butter sauce. Garnish with extra grated Parmesan and diced green apples and serve.