Walnut sauce for pasta
Walnut sauce for pasta is a Ligurian speciality made in much the same way as pesto using walnuts instead of pine nuts and marjoram, mint or parsley instead of basil.
When the first walnuts of the year arrive, the noci verdi are sold as something special – much like the first green almonds. Yet they don’t have a lot of taste and the fleshy membrane grows black and mouldy, if you don’t use them immediately. For this recipe I stick to the characteristic, older walnuts that have been dried properly, and mostly I don’t bother to rub off the skin even though it does give the sauce a rather dull brown colour.
In Liguria, walnut sauce for pasta is mostly served in a cheesy dairy version a bit like besciamella. Not my favourite. This is a pure nutty version, a bit like a salad dressing, a pesto or a lemon sauce with a nice crunchy texture.