Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

A simple pasta is what Nigella Lawson would call a perfect kitchen supper. It’s the type of eating that begins by sneaking a bit of each ingredient into your mouth while preparing. You’ll dip your finger into a simmering sauce more than necessary just because it tastes so good. And you’ll finish with a big bowl eaten at the kitchen counter, with the cooking pot in arms reach, ready for second helpings.

This kitchen supper was inspired by a fortuitous rain shower at the farmers’ market that sent me into the nearest marquee for shelter. The stall I sought refuge in presented fresh, creamy, meaty walnuts that bore little resemblance to the ones sold in the supermarket. They were so tasty, they formed the basis of a simple pasta.

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

The key ingredient to simple pasta is water. No really.

Water should be generously salted when cooking pasta. It should taste like the Mediterranean, pleasantly salty, wetting your appetite for simple and delicious Italian food. Tasting a saucepan of boiling water may seem odd, but good cooking requires every element to taste good, including the humble pot of water. Salted water will impart its seasoning onto your pasta, giving you a tasty base to build a meal from.

When the pasta is almost cooked, the water will have turned cloudy and starchy. This is when you dip a cup into the rolling boil to reserve some water for your sauce. Stirring it in to your drained pasta and sauce will add body, creaminess and help meld flavours together.

By using your cooking water to help season your pasta and build your sauce, you don’t need many ingredients to make the dish sing. A generous handful of fresh parsley, some fragrant garlic and sharp parmesan combine with the walnuts to make a kitchen supper worthy of that second helping.

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Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 200g linguine
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup parsley leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid from pasta
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Put a big pot of water on to boil, add salt. While water comes to temperature, lightly toast walnuts in a pan, then chop into pieces. Roughly chop parsley leaves, grate parmesan and finely chop garlic. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Before you drain your pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta.

In the saucepan you cooked the pasta in, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the garlic till lightly golden. Add parsley and walnuts and stir to meld flavours for a minute.

Return the pasta to the pot. Add the rest of the olive oil and enough cooking liquid to help coat the pasta with the other ingredients as you combine over a low flame. Add the parmesan and stir to create a creamy coating on the pasta.

Season to taste and garnish with extra parsley and parmesan to serve.

49 thoughts on “Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine

  1. Pingback: Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Pasta | Recipe ArchiveRecipe Archive

  2. How funny to find that you (used to?) work for Martha Stewart–I just found your blog as I was enjoying a bowl of tortilla soup, the recipe for which from MS. I simply adore your blog–your writing is so lovely and the photos! Gorgeous. And want to eat everything I’ve seen come out of your kitchen so far. Just wanted to let you know you have a new fan!

    • That’s serendipitous! I did work for Martha, but now I’m on the other side of the world. Thanks so much for your kind words, really happy you found me!

  3. Gorgeous photos Amelia, as always. Love this dish. A beautiful change from my usual boring pesto. Such a perfect weeknight dinner, and I have all the ingredients to hand! I bought walnuts at a Farmer’s market too recently – aren’t they divine! The supermarket variety are cardboard by comparison.

    • Thank you Saskia! The sauce ingredients could also be whizzed into a pesto and stored for another meal if you made a double batch (I know you like that!).

  4. I heard about pasta water being returned to the sauce as well, from the Nigellisima series and from Antonio Carluccio, and I’ve also found it to really improve the overall taste and the starchiness helps the sauce stick to the pasta. Walnuts are a nice addition too. Nice recipe. I’d probably add some new season extra-virgin olive oil when serving it though.

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  8. I made this for my family and absolutely loved it. Your recipes and photos are beautiful. I hope it’s alright I shared your picture and a link to your blog and the recipe on my Why I Heart Autumn Post. Please let me know if it’s not okay. Thanks so much!
    Kim

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