Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pasta with Roasted Walnut Pesto

Pasta is not only very easy to make but can also be made from almost any ingredients. After the excesses of holiday cooking I now enjoy very simple dishes that can be made from whatever I have in my kitchen. This pasta is a perfect example of what I mean. It is made with walnuts, which are easy to store and I always have in my pantry. Walnuts are one of the most healthy nuts, a source of omega-9 fatty acids, zinc, selenium and antioxidants. My kids do not appreciate walnuts so I made this pasta to smuggle walnuts into their menu.

The recipe is my own combination of different walnut sauces which I tried from various Italian cookbooks. It can be made similarly to a traditional pesto sauce with just an oil, or it can be enriched with a little bit of cream. It is best served with spiral type of pasta which gets nicely coated in pesto.

Pasta with Roasted Walnut Pesto

1 box of fusilli or rotini pasta,
1 cup of roasted walnuts pieces,
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs,
1/3 cup fresh parsley,
1-2 garlic cloves,
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
2-3 tbsp warm water or table cream,
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan,plus extra for serving,
a pinch of grated nutmeg,
salt, pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta in plenty of water.
2. Roast walnuts in the oven or on the frying pan until light brown. Rub between hands to remove dried skins.

3. Place walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, and oil in a bowl of a small food processor.

4. Run the engine until the content of the bowl turns almost into a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add either water or cream, until the sauce reminds a thick cream.
5. Season the pesto with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
6. Pour over the hot pasta, toss, and finish with shredded Parmesan on top.