Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes (for the pasta), no cooking necessary for the sauce
- 1 pound rotelli, fusilli, or rotini (corkscrew pasta)
- 1.5 cups toasted walnuts (see instructions for toasting nuts below)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 350* F. Spread the walnuts out evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Stir them a few times while toasting and watch closely to make sure they don't burn.
Bring a large pot of slated water to a boil. Add the pasta until cooked al dente (about 8 to 10 minutes). Drain the pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.
In the meantime, combine the toasted walnuts, butter, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse to combine the ingredients, then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese, then the heavy cream.
When the pasta is done, stir in the walnut sauce and add a little bit of the reserved cooking water, then stir gently until the sauce completely coats the pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and a little Parmesan cheese and serve.
This dish is very decadent and incredibly filling, so you may want to halve the recipe or reserve some of the walnut sauce and use it later in the week. I recommend serving it with a salad or crisp vegetables to add some lightness to the meal.