Walnut pasta is a delicious pasta dish containing the nutritionally rich walnuts, which are processed with certain other ingredients like olive oil, parsley and seasonings to make a sauce for the pasta. Some recipes also include walnuts in chopped form in the sauce. The cooked pasta is tossed with this sauce, and may be garnished with more shelled walnuts before serving. It is served as a starter, side or main dish. The walnuts may be toasted before inclusion in the sauce, which lends a nutty taste to the dish. Additional ingredients like heavy cream, tomatoes or broccoli may be used to make different variations of the dish.
Ingredients and Preparation
Walnut Pasta is made with shelled walnuts, flat and short pasta, olive oil, salt, pepper, cheese and parsley. Ingredients like milk, cream and bread are also suggested by various recipes.
Method of Preparation: To prepare the dish, walnuts are toasted on a dry heated pan till they begin to give a nutty fragrance. These walnuts are then pureed with fresh parsley and olive oil to make a sauce. The sauce is seasoned with salt and pepper. Some recipes suggest pureeing of milk soaked bread and cheese with the walnuts to make the sauce. Meanwhile, the pasta is cooked in boiling salted water till it is tender yet firm, after which it is drained and tossed with this sauce.
Walnut pasta is served hot, with a garnish of shelled walnuts and/or grated cheese. It may be served as a starter or side dish, with French or Italian bread and salad. It may also be served as a main dish by itself.
Popular Walnut Pasta Recipe Variations
- Pasta with Creamy Walnut Sauce: This version can be prepared by making a sauce by blending together walnuts, parsley and parmesan cheese. The grainy mixture, thus obtained, is mixed with heavy cream, creamy ricotta or half-and-half to make a creamy sauce. The cooked pasta is tossed with the sauce, which may be thinned with some pasta cooking water if desired.
- Broccoli Walnut Pasta: This version includes broccoli florets, which are cooked by boiling in salted water or sautéing in heated olive oil and tossing along with cooked pasta and sauce.
- Tomato Walnut Pasta: This version is made by sautéing onions and garlic in heated olive oil, followed by addition of oregano, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes and basil. Chopped walnuts are added to the sauce, which are cooked by simmering and then tossed with cooked pasta.