I got the basis for this recipe from the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (no affiliate) book by Mark Bittman. It piqued my interest because I get bored of eating pasta with the standard red sauce, and the white sauces are so buttery and cheesy that they’re not so healthy for you.
Enter: a sauce made from walnuts that makes you think you’re eating a rich cream sauce, with hardly any of the butter, cream, or milk fat. (Full disclosure: there is cream cheese in this version, though I used a new Greek yogurt version that has half the fat of regular cream cheese.)
This recipe is just in time to be added to the Comfort Food list I compiled the other day. It has hearty winter comfort food written all over it.
I’m planning to make another batch of fettuccine and walnut sauce to eat as my carbo load before my next long run this weekend. My half marathon is in 2 and a half weeks! Let’s hope most of this Boston snow is melted by then, so the race isn’t cancelled!
Are you training for anything? What’s your favorite carbo loading or pre-race meal?
Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce
Add this Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce to your Winter Comfort Food list.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 pound pasta (fettuccine or linguine or your choice)
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk (can use non-dairy, unsweetened versions)
- 1 cup walnuts, plus 1 tablespoon roughly chopped for topping
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-3 tablespoons cream cheese
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the milk, and mix well. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and paprika. Pulse until you get a course/crumbly mixture.
- With the processor running, slowly add in the oil in a steady stream.
- Add in the bread crumb/milk mixture and the cream cheese and pulse to combine. The sauce will be thick.
- Add in the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce to your liking. Mix well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well. Top with the thyme, chopped walnuts, lemon zest, and more Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.
Adapted from: Pasta with Walnut Sauce, Mark Bittman