Pasta With Walnuts and Olive Oil Print Email

You can substitute pecans for the walnuts. Or you can make a sauce more like pesto by substituting basil for the parsley; fresh marjoram would also be delicious.

1 cup walnut or pecan halves
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, washed and dried
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine, spaghetti or other long pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Meanwhile, combine nuts, parsley and garlic in a small food processor and turn machine on. (Or use a mortar and pestle.) Add oil gradually, using just enough so that mixture forms a creamy paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but not mushy. When it is ready, drain it, reserving a little cooking water. Toss with sauce. If mixture appears too thick, thin with a little more olive oil or some of the pasta cooking water.

Variations: Pasta With Creamy Walnut Sauce: Omit garlic and olive oil. Combine nuts, parsley and a few small chunks of Parmesan (or about 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan) and process as above. When mixture is grainy, transfer it to a bowl and combine with 3/4 cup creamy ricotta, heavy cream or half-and-half; mixture should be the consistency of creamed butter. Toss cooked pasta with sauce, thinning with cooking water as necessary. Serve, passing additional Parmesan at the table. Yield 6 appetizer servings, or 3 to 4 main course servings. Time 20 minutes. Source: The New York Times

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