We love walnuts, just as well as we have about 20 trees. There are many versions of walnut sauce and we have tried a lot of them, this recipe is from the River Café Cook Book Two. We always eat sauce for four and pasta for two, but if this is too much sauce for you it keeps well for a few days in a sealed pot in the fridge. I also threw in huge quantities of parsley and basil, because I had them, which proves this recipe is elastic in terms of quantities!
2kg walnuts, shelled and bitter skins removed
Breadcrumbs, from any type of stale loaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
150ml olive oil
100g parmesan, freshly grated
4 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped Soak the breadcrumbs in 150ml milk.
Set aside a few walnuts for serving. The recipe says to pound the rest of the walnuts with the garlic in a mortar, I used a food processor. Add a little salt, then the parsley, and pound some more.
Squeeze most of the milk from the breadcrumbs, keep the milk. Add half of the breadcrumbs to the mortar and mix. Add the olive oil gradually, plus a little milk to loosen the paste. Stir continuously so the sauce is well mixed. Finally add half the parmesan and basil, Season. The finished sauce should be thick and green.
Cook your preferred pasta, drain and return to the saucepan. To serve, add the rest of the basil, parmesan and a few pieces of uncrushed walnut. I also stirred wilted spinach into the finished pasta.
5 to remember
el pan rallado – the breadcrumbs
la leche – the milk
la albahaca – the basil
una pasta – a paste
la mitad – the half
Recipe from ‘River Café Cook Book Two’ by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray [UK: Ebury Press]