I finally made pasta with walnut sauce with some of the walnuts I bought for holiday baking. I always buy more baking ingredients than I ever get around to using, so I thought I would put at least the nuts to good use. In this recipe, the sauce, with a wonderful nutty flavor, is thick like a pesto. If you want, you can thin it out a bit by adding a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce. I’ve also had it where the walnuts are ground to a fine powder, but I like them to be more coarse. Traditionally, this dish is served with tagliatelle but any flat wide noodle pasta will do. Linguine or Fettucine works well, too.
Tagliatelle with Walnut Sauce
- 2 cups shelled walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 or 2 gloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1/3 to a 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound tagliatelle
- Toast walnuts in an ungreased cast iron skillet over low-medium heat until toasty and aromatic. DO NOT BURN.
- Add walnuts and parsley to bowl of food processor and pulse until ground and blended. Gradually pour in butter, olive oil, garlic, cheese, pepper flakes, and cream; pulse once or twice, or until blended. Add a bit of the pasta water to the walnut mix if a thinner sauce is desired.
- Toss with hot pasta and serve.