I went walnutting this morning after the rain.
Beautiful heavy drops plomping straight down into the cats’ drinking bowls with a splash.
The sort of rain that can topple a walnut from the tree before it is quite ready to fall–thus making an early expedition to walnut alley worthwhile.
A big wind blew last night as we went to bed–violently shaking the trees.
Then rain this morning–a perfect scenario for a seasoned walnutter.
Came back with two sacks (five pounds!) of walnuts–freed them from their outer cases–and a good feeling.
Hosed them down and decanted them into a filigreed steel basket to sit in the sun.
Now for lunch.
I made the walnut pasta two days ago for Meredith to photograph for the next book–Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics–due out in the Spring.
We didn’t feel like eating it just then–but I had a plan… (see below)
Here is the original recipe which is beautifully simple.
Spaghettini with Walnut, Garlic and Parmesan Sauce
- 100g/4oz shelled walnuts – be careful, if you shell them yourself, to avoid any teeth-cracking bits being left in
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped, plus a little extra parsley
- salt and pepper
- 5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
- 425g/14oz wholewheat spaghettini or spaghetti
- 100g/4oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
Put the walnuts, garlic and parsley in a food processor, season with salt and pepper, add the oils and pulse to a sauce of this texture:
Add the grated cheese and mix.
Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water.
Drain it– keeping a little of the cooking liquid– and put the pasta back in the hot pan.
Add the sauce and a tablespoon of the cooking liquid (i.e. hot, salted water) and turn it over thoroughly.
Turn it into a warmed bowl and sprinkle with extra parsley.
Serve immediately with more olive oil and Parmesan to hand.
It’s a favorite pasta for us!
Two days later and…
I’m lightly sautéing half the spaghettini in walnut sauce (half because there are only two of us) to go with a small salad of sliced tomatoes gathered from our garden–another harvest this morning.
Panfried Walnut Pasta (for leftovers!)
(This pasta lends itself to re-use, crisping up nicely for a crunchy bite.)
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan.
When the oil is hot, slip in the pasta.
Cook this over a medium heat for about 5 or 6 minutes. The bottom should be crispy brown.
Turn this over carefully with a spatula and cook the other side to a similar effect.
Halve the pancake (I find scissors work well!) and divide between two plates.