This sauce is made in less time than it takes to cook pasta. I love it for that but also for its simplicity.
400g (14 ounces) egg pasta lasagne or curly lasagne squares Salt and freshly ground black pepper 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 50g (½ cup) fresh walnuts, roughly chopped 1½ Tbsp chopped rosemary 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (1½ Tbsp chopped garlic) Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
1 Put pasta in a plastic bag and gently whack it several times with a mallet to produce uneven and raggedy shapes. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of gently boiling, well-salted water until al dente.
2 While pasta is cooking, make sauce. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and when it is hot, add the walnuts. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the nuts are visibly colouring. You need to pay attention here that you don’t let them get too dark. When the pasta is nearly ready, and the nuts are nearly perfect, add rosemary and garlic to the pan of walnuts. Cook for just a minute or two, until everything smells fragrant. Season with a little salt and pepper.
3 Drain pasta, turn it into a heated bowl then immediately tip on the walnut sauce. Toss well, and serve immediately with plenty of parmesan cheese.
Before chopping walnuts, rub them between your hands to release as many of the skins as possible (they are bitter-tasting). Use soft and supple rosemary – if it’s dry the spikes will be sharp and the flavour too pungent.
You can use fresh pasta for this dish. Simply cut freshly-rolled pasta into uneven scraps, then dry briefly before cooking.
Read about salting pasta water How salty should pasta water be?
And here’s a helpful tip: If the nuts are ready but the pasta is not cooked, remove pan of nuts from heat to halt the cooking, then slip it back on the heat adding the rosemary and garlic just before draining pasta.