This simple, yet delicious recipe draws on the sweet and buttery flavour of boiled chestnuts. You can pick up these seasonal delights at one of the many Farmers’ Markets or providores within our region (chestnuts are in season from March to July). Or take it one step further and join a chestnut foraging workshop with the creator or this recipe, Mara Ripani. This is just one of the many sustainably focused workshops available at her Blampied based artisanal cooking school, Village Dreaming.

30 minutes prep | 30 minutes cooking | Serves 4


  • 700g chestnuts, scored on one side
  • 16g salt
  • Olive oil
  • 15 fresh sage leaves, 10 finely chopped, 5 kept whole
  • 100g salted butter
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 150g of high quality freshly grated parmesan
  • Pepper to taste
  • 400g spaghetti (no.5)


  1. Set oven to 80°c, place oven proof dish (large enough for all ingredients) in oven.
  2. Score chestnuts by cutting the skin on one side on a chopping board with a small kitchen knife.
  3. Place chestnuts in a steamer and steam until very soft inside. Test by prizing one open after 30mins of steaming. If not completely soft continue steaming.
  4. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the soft nut.
  5. Place cooked chestnuts in a food processor, add 8g of salt and lightly process until crumbly but coarse. Place chestnuts in a large bowl.
  6. Boil a large pot of water (for the spaghetti), adding the remaining 8g of salt.
  7. As you wait for the water to come to the boil, fry finely chopped garlic in olive oil, remove before the garlic browns. Mix the garlic with chestnuts, adding the finely chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan and lemon juice. Mix well using your hands. Add pepper to taste.
  8. Place spaghetti in boiling water and cook for just under 5mins. Drain, leaving approximately ¼ of the water. Place the spaghetti and the saved water in hot oven dish. Leave oven dish out and turn off oven.
  9. In the same pan used for frying garlic, gently and slowly fry chopped sage in 50g of butter until the butter begins to brown. Remove and place buttered sage with the chestnut mixture. Combine well before adding the spaghetti, mixing through with your hands.
  10. Gently fry whole sage leaves with the remaining 50g of butter until butter browns lightly. Be careful not to burn the butter to avoid losing flavour and sweetness. Place whole sage leaves with their butter mixture in a small bowl to use as garnish.
  11. Plate spaghetti on large plates and garnish with buttered whole sage leaves and serve. Buon appetito cari amici!

About the author

Village Dreaming
Mara Ripani Village Dreaming
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A regenerative permaculture farm & cooking school on Dja Dja Wurrung land, in the central highlands of Victoria.

Share in our love of traditional cooking, sustainable living & togetherness via our hands-on workshops & our Orto Farm Stay straw eco cottage.