I’ve been falling in love with herbs all over again recently, and one that I think is criminally overlooked (at least in our kitchen) is sage. One day I was daydreaming about frying the furry little leaves in some hot oil and this recipe just fell out of my head and into a bowl.

I love contrasting textures in a meal (never liked trifle), and with its crunchy golden nut-crumb mixture and slippery, garlicky mushrooms, this dish delivers. The earthy flavours of sage and mushroom are lifted by fresh lemon at the end. Make this meal your cool weather comfort.

Sage and walnut spaghetti


  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 2½ Tbsp walnut or macadamia oil
  • 250 g dry spaghetti pasta
  • 70 g walnut pieces
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 500 g flat mushrooms sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ dry white wine
  • pinch salt
  • handful baby spinach leaves (optional)
  • juice of one lemon


  1. 1 Fry sage leaves in 1 tablespoon of the nut oil over a medium hit until crispy.
  2. 2 Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. 3 Blitz the sage in a food processor along with the walnuts, first quantity of salt and breadcrumbs. Then fry the mixture over a medium heat in the same pan that you cooked the sage leaves earlier, adding an extra half tablespoon of oil first, if needed. Cook until golden and crispy then turn off the heat.
  4. 4 Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms. Pan fry until softened and most of their liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic, wine and pinch of salt. Cook for another minute or two, then stir through the spinach, if using, so that it softens.
  5. 5 Reserve some of the breadcrumb mixture for a garnish and toss the rest through the spaghetti. Top with the mushrooms, extra breadcrumb garnish, plus a drizzle of oil, and serve with wedges of lemon.