Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Lemon

We took Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More cookbook from the bookshelf and in no time we found several vegetarian recipes to give a try.

We started with a quick and fresh creamy pasta dish. A sage and burnt butter sauce is obviously a classic in Italian cuisine, but taking that one step further and transforming it into a lemony cream sauce is just brilliant.

The original recipe (published in The Guardian, together with another nice pasta recipe) serves 2, using 300g of pasta. There is a very funny note on Ottolenghi’s site on the discussion it sparked on how much pasta one should use to serve 2 adults. We didn’t double up, except for the parmesan cheese and eventually using 500g fresh pasta, and was exactly enough for us.

The recipe

  • 60g / 2oz walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 30g / 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 10g  / 1/3 cup sage leaves, finely shredded
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 500g / 17.5oz fresh tagliatelle pasta
  •  100g / 3.5 oz parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 15g / 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/285F
  2. Spread the chopped walnuts on a baking tray, roast for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Put a medium frying pan on high heat and add the butter and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the foam subsides. At that point add the sage leaves and fry for another 2 minutes, until the butter starts to brown.
  4. Add the lemon zest, cream, salt and plenty of black pepper, stir and cook for just a few seconds, to thicken a little. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the instructions until al dente.
  6. Reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, drain and put the pasta in a large bowl.
  7. Warm the sauce through, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid if it becomes too thick, then mix into the pasta.
  8. Plate the pasta, add the walnuts, parmesan and parsley. Finish by sprinkling over the lemon juice and serve immediately.

What worked and what didn’t:
It is obviously quite fresh, but also rich and layered which is enhanced by the toasted walnuts and heaps of fresh herbs. The creamy burnt butter sauce also offset any dryness from the walnuts, so everybody loved it.

Suggested tweaks:
Nope.

Verdict: 9/10, Will definitely be made again

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