This is a lot like a pesto pasta.
You can prepare the nut mix beforehand and reheat it very gently when you come to cook the pasta–stress-free cooking–(in principle!).
Hazelnuts roasted are particularly more-ish. Mixed with olive oil, chili and garlic and served, as here, with nutty wholewheat pasta, they are irresistible!
The first time we had this for lunch the more-ishness grew on us with each mouthful!
7oz wholewheat penne
3 tblsps olive oil
1 tsp hazelnut oil–if available
2 garlic cloves--pulped
2 small dry chilis–chopped
75gms roasted hazelnuts*–chopped (I use the small container in a food mixer and pulse the nuts to control the finished size–crunchy little bits–not powder)
2/3 tblsps parsley–chopped
50gms parmesan cheese–grated
pecorino cheese–if available, a couple of tablespoons–bearing in mind its saltiness.
- Heat the oils in a pan and add the garlic.
- Colour it gently, taking care not to burn it.
- Turn off the heat and remove the garlic from the pan to prevent it cooking longer and let it cool.
- Add the chili to the warm oil in the pan.
- Gently reheat the oil and chili in the pan.
- Add the hazelnuts and the parsley to the pan and cook briefly–about three minutes.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the sautéed garlic.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil with a dash of salt.
- Add the pasta and cook it to taste.
- When the pasta is done as you like it–drain, remembering to save 3 or 4 tablespoons of the water.
- Return the pasta to the warm pan you cooked it in and add the nuts, parsley, garlic and cheese(s) and mix thoroughly.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the warm pasta water to loosen the sauce a little.
- Add salt to taste.
- Serve immediately (it cools down quickly)–with extra cheese and a swirl of olive oil, if you like.
- And before you could say Jack Robinson..!
* to roast the hazelnuts:
Heat the oven to 180C.
spread the hazelnuts over a shallow oven tray and put it in the oven.
Check them after 5 minutes–it depends on their size how long they take.
Taste one to check for crunchy doneness–roast them a little longer if you feel they need it.