Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce Recipe

Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce is the most vintage Italian sauce Recipe, with chestnuts, pancetta, garlic and white wine, so move over tomato sauce!

Classic Brown Butter Sage Chestnut Sauce
Classic Brown Butter Sage Chestnut Sauce

Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce

This classic sauce of brown butter, sage and chestnuts, a drizzle of white wine and a little salty pancetta is perfect for a simple pasta dish or to drizzle over another classic; rabbit!

You will fast discover this sauce to become an Autumn or Winter addition to your pasta, meat or meatless dishes. 

Creamy sage and chestnut sauce with pancetta.
Creamy Sage and Chestnut Sauce With Pancetta

Sage Chestnut Sauce

The first time I experimented with this sauce, it was to go over my Chocolate Chili Pasta.

Undoubtedly the flavors paired perfectly with the earthy heat of cacao and chilies. 

I decided It was time this sauce carved out it’s own place on my blog for a variety of ways I intend to use it. 

Easy To Grow Sage

This herb has become one of my favorite herbs to grow.

Overall, I find the scent and flavor is beautiful. I have even found leaves still alive in the dead of winter. 

Many of us know sage for its intense aromatic flavor and scent.

We often think of sage, here in America, with Thanksgiving turkey dishes, something I made in under 90-minutes on PBS The Great American Recipe. 

Turkey Sage Stuffing
Turkey Sage Stuffing

It was a hit with the judges and now my recipe is in their cookbook!

My Sage Stuffed Turkey Breast On PBS And Their Cookbook
My Sage Stuffed Turkey Breast On PBS And Their Cookbook

Since Italian cuisine uses sage in so many ways, I thought it was time we Americans discover its beautiful flavor in a versatile sauce.

sage is a hearty herb to grow
Sage Is A Hearty Herb To Grow

Preparing Sage For Recipes

It might seem a simple thing to do, ‘chop leaves’ when preparing herbs for a recipe.

However, learning a fast and easy technique professional chefs use, makes the job easy, more attractive and exposes the most flavor from inside the herb leaves.

Here you go!

How To Chiffonade Herbs

Chestnuts – The Classic Italian Nut

Who cares what part of Italy you think this sauce comes from, chestnuts, sage, pancetta are used all over Italy, in a variety of recipes. 

If it is the season to buy fresh chestnuts in the market, you will need to roast them, and peel them. 

I have learned (the hard way), to drop them in boiling water for a minute, then roast them on a baking sheet. They peel easier this way. 

Consequently, I now do the same thing with the acorns that drop in my yard, and have made a flour from them and into a delicious cookie!

chestnuts shelled
Chestnuts Shelled

How To Buy Chestnuts

Regardless, chestnuts can be found in gourmet markets, already roasted and peeled.

Occasionally I’ve found them in either an airtight pouch or a can, year round. 

If buying chestnuts raw, they have a few steps to prepare them for recipes, but so worth the extra work.

Creamy Savory Chestnut Sauce

Overall, this sauce comes together in minutes, once the chestnuts are roasted.

Your gourmet dinner will look like you’ve slaved away in the kitchen all day.

Therefore, you will still have plenty of time to get all dolled up without breaking a sweat when it’s time to finalize your dish!

chestnuts roasted
Chestnuts Roasted

What To Serve With Sage Chestnut Sauce

Since this sauce would be perfect to serve with leftover chicken or turkey, I thought it an ideal sauce with Roasted Rabbit. 

My recipe for Homemade Egg Pasta, stirred into the sauce, once it is prepared, is a traditional Italian way of enjoying this sauce. 

Do you want something more extravagant? Definitely try your hand at making my Chocolate Chili Pasta to serve with it.

It was the first dish I made to pair with this rich and very traditional sauce. 

chocolate chili pasta with sage chestnut sauce
Chocolate Chili Pasta With Sage Chestnut Sauce

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large saute pan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Stovetop or burner

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Mascarpone
  • Half and half
  • Dry white wine
  • Fresh sage
  • Pancetta or bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chestnuts – either roasted and peeled at home or already roasted and peeled (a favorite of mine can be purchased on Amazon)

Other Classic Italian Chestnut Recipes To Love

Once you’ve stocked up on fresh raw chestnuts in the autumn, there are so many recipes I’ll bet you’ve never tasted before.

A classic dessert in Italy, particularly around the Tuscan area, is a torta (cake), made from the chestnut flour.

Having taken the time to roast and peel the chestnuts, only one more step, grinding the chestnuts in a food processor, open the door to so many other sweet chestnut recipes.

Here are just two of my favorites you are bound to love also:

Classic Chestnut Flour Desserts
Classic Chestnut Flour Desserts

Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce Recipe

A classic Italian sauce of brown butter, sage and chestnuts, a drizzle of white wine and the saltiness from pancetta.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups Chestnuts roasted, shelled and cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Garlic cloves crushed
  • 8 oz Mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Fresh sage chopped, some whole for garnish
  • 1 cup Pancetta or bacon cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and pepper – to taste


  • In a medium size sauté pan, melt the butter, toss in the garlic and chestnuts. Stir until chestnuts take on a golden color.
  • Add the mascarpone, cream, wine, sage and seasoning.
    Fold gently until the mascarpone melts and the sauce becomes creamy.
  • Fold in the pancetta. The sauce is now ready to use as you choose.
Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce Recipe
Classic Italian Sage Chestnut Sauce Recipe
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