This creamy and fragrant walnut sauce from Liguria is unsurprisingly very popular throughout Italy. Perfect on pasta, bread or even as a dip!
- 400 g Pappardelle or pasta of your choice
- 150 g walnuts shelled
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 20 g pine nuts
- 30 g Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 sprig fresh marjoram
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 glass fresh whole milk (about 150 ml)
- 30 g breadcrumbs or pieces of stale white bread
- salt for cooking pasta
- 1 small black truffle optional
First you need to boil the walnuts so that you can then peel the kernels. Cook them for about 5 minutes (not more), drain and dry with a cloth. Once they have cooled you can remove the peel.
Put the breadcrumbs or pieces of bread into a bowl or glass, pour in the milk and stir. Once the bread has absorbed the milk, drain this mixture into a colander over a bowl and keep the milk aside.
Put the peeled walnut kernels, the bread softened in milk, the pine nuts, garlic and the marjoram into a mixer or food processor and pulse a few times.
Add the Parmesan and pulse again while adding the olive oil and saved milk until you get the desired consistency.
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring it back to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Fresh pasta will cook quickly, maybe 2-3 minutes only.
Before draining the pasta, save a cup of the cooking water.
Put the sauce into a deep frying pan and heat through. Add some of the pasta cooking water if it seems too thick or dry. Add the drained pasta to the sauce. Mix everything together well and serve with truffle shavings (if using) and extra grated Parmesan.
Truffles are not always easy to find and expensive so you can also serve just the pasta with walnut sauce or add mushrooms, pancetta, speck or zucchini. This sauce can also be eaten as a dip or on bread!
I used pappardelle pasta but most types of short pasta with go well with it as well as tagliatelle or spaghetti. In Liguria they serve it with trofie.