Thursday, 5 June 2014

Spaghetti with Walnut Sauce

I always wondered if I could play around with the ingredients in the kitchen; thereby deciding to pair spaghetti with walnut and tomato sauce - I am, however, very partial to anything creamy, smooth and nutty. It sounds pretty disastrous for people who don’t have the predilection for walnuts and for such people you can easily replace it with almonds. Of course the flavors are not the same yet there is a lusciously delicious depth to the sauce – a very nutty and earthy, almost sophisticated approach to effortless and I dare say dull marinara sauce.  

I put all my recipes under categories – this recipe being lazy Sunday no fuss dinner category!
You can just buy a jar of marinara sauce, brown some walnuts in butter/extra mild olive oil (whichever suits you better), make a paste and add it to your everyday out-of-the-jar sauce. But making it from scratch has its own rewards – I would say, rather, very therapeutic rewards !!!  

The idea behind cooking store bought dried pasta is plunging the pasta into rapidly boiling salty-as-the-sea water. Always make sure that you use a big pot of water. The best way to check the doneness is by eating. I would rather eat that strand of beautiful spaghetti then trying out any bizarrely peculiar methods.

Try to make the sauce and boil the pasta simultaneously. That way your pasta never dries out (if they are dry, they will become sticky) after you strain it.  

Also, it’s a rule in my kitchen to save a cup of the salty water after the pasta is done. I, always, pour a little of that liquid to the sauce. It just gives it an extra oomph. :)

Ingredients: Serves 1

For the Pasta:
100 gms spaghetti
Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.

For the Sauce:
½ cup walnuts
½ cup tomato puree
Few tbsp Extra light olive oil
Handful of Parmesan Cheese (Shaved/grated)
¼ cup single cream
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
Red chili Flakes, Salt and Sugar to taste

Heat some mild olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Toast the walnuts until fragrant; puree and set aside. Add the tomato puree to it along with some salt, sugar and the minced garlic and keep stirring until the oil separates. This is the only time you have to wait. Once the oil separates, add the walnut puree and stir to combine. At this stage you can add the cream, oregano and red chili flakes. Give it a taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Also, you can check the consistency of the sauce – some like it thinner in which case you can add the pasta water.

Now combine the cooked spaghetti with the sauce. Top generously with the Parmesan cheese and serve piping hot. 

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