‘Pappardelle al Sugo di Noci’ – or, tender egg noodles bathed in a rich sauce of toasted walnuts, garlic and the very best Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Not only is this one of the most deliciously comforting pasta dishes ever, it’s ridiculously easy to make and the sauce freezes like a dream.
This recipe came from an old favorite cookbook of mine that’s been my ‘go-to’ for pasta dishes for well over 25 years – Patricia Lousada’s ‘Pasta Italian Style’. I’m not sure whether it’s still in print but Amazon will have a few copies and I highly recommend it.
You’ll need a food processor to create the sauce which you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for up to one week. I usually make a batch, eat some immediately then freeze the rest.
4 oz (114g) of walnut pieces
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled
3 oz (85g) of butter
2 tablespoons (30ml) of extra-v olive oil
4 oz (114g) of freshly grated (real Italian) Parmesan cheese
12 oz (350g) of pappardelle egg noodles
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Start by toasting the walnuts. Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Spread the nuts on a baking tray and stick them in the oven for 8-9 mins, until they’re fragrant and golden.
Because I prefer to cut back on laundry, I swirl the toasted nuts around in a wire mesh strainer over the sink to rub off the skins but you can do it in a clean dishcloth. Don’t worry if all the skins don’t come off.
Put the nuts, butter, olive oil and garlic in the food processor and pulse until you have a smooth-ish paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in half of the grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside while you cook the pasta (or refrigerate/freeze at this point).
Warm a serving dish for the pasta. As soon as the pasta is cooked according to instructions, add 6 tablespoons (90ml) of the pasta cooking water to the sauce then drain the pasta, tip it immediately into the warmed serving bowl, add the walnut sauce and gently toss it to combine.
To serve, pass around the remaining Parmesan cheese for everyone to sprinkle on top.