Crispy Sage in a Pasta With Sausage, Meatballs, and Walnuts

April 14, 2023

As an amateur cook, sometimes I get inspired by a particular ingredient or dish and let that guide my culinary endeavors. This time, I stumbled upon a bag of “farfalloni” and decided to make a pasta dish around it, with crispy sage, meatballs, walnuts, and sausage as the stars of the show.

After much thought, I’ve finally cracked the code. To celebrate the two herbs (thyme and sage) that are still strong in our garden, I decided to come up with a pasta dish ideal for colder days. This spaghetti dish is guaranteed to get you through the rest of winter with sausage meatballs, toasted walnuts, caramelized mushrooms, shredded parmesan, and a light touch of cream.

This is the recipe for success!


  • 8 oz. of sweet Italian sausage(225g)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. of dried short cut pasta (such as farfalle or rigatoni)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 lb. of mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, oyster, or chanterelles)
  • 1/2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream (120 ml)
  • ½ cup of toasted walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • shaved parmesan or romano cheese


  1. You may make meatballs from the sausage once removed from the casings. Fry the meatballs in a tablespoon of olive oil until they are browned, crispy, and cooked. Take a slotted spoon and lift the meatballs out of the stew.
  2. According to package instructions, the pasta should be undercooked by 1-2 minutes from the recommended doneness when cooked in a saucepan of salted water. You should drain it, but set aside roughly a cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. In the meantime, increase the olive oil to two tablespoons and add the sage. Put the sage on a plate once it has reached the desired crispness and remove it from the pan. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms and fresh thyme over medium heat until the mushrooms are browned.
  4. Mix in the garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Maintain high heat for three minutes.
  5. Combine the half-and-half with the spaghetti, meatballs, and parsley. Use the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce if necessary.
  6. Add the crispy sage, walnuts, and cheese on top after transferring to a serving bowl. Serve!
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