Fettuccine with Authentic Italian Walnut Sauce

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Fettucine walnut cover 12-12

Fettucine with Walnut Sauce using dry pasta

Prep 20 mins   Cook 10 mins  Eat 30 mins

This recipe is an absolute winner!  The Fresh Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce we made in our September La Cucina Italiana class got rave reviews, even though I forgot one step in my rush to bring it to the table, which was thinning the sauce with the pasta water.   Try this recipe and I promise that it will become one of your favorite Italian dishes with or without the fresh fettuccine.

Fresh sheets of pasta from the Atlas Pasta machine.

I love making homemade pasta when I have the time.  There’s something therapeutic about rolling out the dough and seeing flour and eggs turn into shiny lustrous sheets and ribbons of pasta.  And of course, the reward of eating fresh pasta is…well special!

Freshly made fettuccine

Homemade fettuccine is fresh, more porous and delicious then it’s dried brethren.

Freshly made Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce

One of the joys of working with La Cucina Italiana magazine is discovering authentic Italian recipes that are completely new and different than my usual repertoire.  I count the walnut sauce as one of these.  Salsa di noci was a fabulous new discovery for me and it will be for you.   The walnut sauce is complex, heavenly.  One of the students called it a white pesto.  Yes – that describes it perfectly.

Leftover walnut sauce in container.

It’s a combination of day old rustic bread with walnuts, ricotta and greek yogurt.  You think you are eating something much more fattening than it is.  I served this to guests and they thought they were eating Fettuccine Alfredo.  But there is no cream in this dish and yet if you didn’t make it yourself, you wouldn’t believe it.  You can make it even more skinny by using both nonfat versions of ricotta and Greek yogurt to slash the calories even further.

Thin the walnut sauce with pasta water while tossing pasta, like this Pumpkin Ravioli.

I learned that you need to thin the “white pesto” with pasta water to get it to the right consistency.  It’s very thick when it comes out of the food processor.  Mixing it with a little pasta water makes it easier to toss the noodles and you get a creamy texture.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Walnut Sauce, ready to be devoured!

A great use of the leftover walnut sauce was the home-made pumpkin ravioli I made the next day for guests.  Double yum!  You can also freeze the walnut sauce for future meals.

Print This Recipe

Basic Egg Pasta Recipe for Fresh Fettucine

Fettuccine with Walnut SauceFettucine walnut cover 12-12

  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup cubes day-old rustic bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 tsp Coarse sea salt
  • 1 pinch Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 pound pasta, fettucine

1. Boil half of the nuts in a medium saucepan of water for 7 minutes.  Meanwhile, put bread in a bowl, cover with tepid tap water and let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water.

2. Drain blanched nuts.  Remove any loose skins with a paper towel.

3. Place garlic in bowl of food processor and process until minced.  Add all nuts (blanched and unpeeled), bread, salt and pepper and process until mixture is smooth.  Drizzle in olive oil until mixture begins to look like pesto.  Add ricotta and yogurt and process until mixture is thick and smooth.  Set aside until pasta is cooked.

4. Prepare fettuccine.  If using fresh fettuccine, it will take only a minute to cook in boiling water.  Reserve about a cup of the pasta cooking water.

5. Toss pasta with any amount of walnut sauce you like.  Thin with the pasta water until pasta is coated with the walnut sauce, but yet remains creamy.

Servings: 6    Calories per Serving:  664

Preparation Time: 20 minutes    Cooking Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 30 minutes

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