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Hazelnut pasta

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!

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The first time we had this for lunch the more-ishness grew on us with each mouthful!

for 2

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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)

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2/3 tblsps parsley–chopped

2 tblsps saved pasta water (i.e. the water that the pasta was cooked in!)

50gms parmesan cheese–grated

pecorino cheese–if available, a couple of tablespoons–bearing in mind its saltiness.

salt

  • Heat the oils in a pan and add the garlic.
  • Colour it gently, taking care not to burn it.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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..!

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* 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.

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