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The second city I ever went to in Italy was Vernazza. I know it is a popular tourist destination, but usually people go to Venice, or Rome, or Florence as a first stop. Myself, I landed at Milan airport, met up with some friends, and hopped on a train to the beautiful Cinque Terre. If you have never been to this part of Italy, I highly suggest you go. To me it is like the Amalfi coast, but more authentic. And the cuisine is to die for. Hence, this traditional Ligurian walnut sauce.
Now, walnut sauce by itself is not anything special. You don’t use it to dip crudite, or spread it on a sandwich like mayonnaise. It is however a perfect accompaniment to my ravioli in walnut sauce a and a perfect starter for an evening. This easy recipe was taught to me by the chef at a small 4 table restaurant in Vernazza during the off-season, and I tend to bring it out when I really want to impress someone…or walnuts are in season.
Luckily, walnuts are in season now, and Alona’s grandmother has a few old, large, walnut trees. Which means we were gifted a few kilos of amazing quality walnuts. Perfect for this sauce.
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Walnut Sauce Ingredients
200 grams Walnuts; fresh if able, but in a cool dry place walnuts last a long time, so no worries if you buy them pre-shelled.
1 tbsp Pine Nuts
50 grams Butter; melted.
40 grams Parmigiano Reggiano, grated.
2 cloves Garlic
200 ml Heavy Cream. Also known as double cream, or whipping cream
1 tsp Salt; or to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper; freshly cracked.
Walnut Sauce Instructions
1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender and let it rip. If it doesn’t emulsify you can add more heavy cream, and if it is too thin you can add some more walnuts. I find the ratios given in the instructions however to work perfectly for me every time.
You can toast the walnuts before hand in a toaster oven (or regular oven) if you want to mellow out their flavor. Some people find walnuts to be pretty overpowering…but if you didn’t like walnut taste then this sauce probably isn’t for you.
I find this super easy sauce goes perfect with a simple ricotta ravioli. You can check out my recipe here for Ravioli With Walnut Sauce. I also make it with my Homemade Tortellini With Walnut Sauce.
Walnut Sauce Recipe
- 200 grams Walnuts
- 1 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 50 grams Butter melted
- 40 grams Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- 2 cloves garlic
- 200 ml Heavy Cream aka double cream or whipping cream
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 1 tsp Pepper black, freshly cracked
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender and let it rip. If it doesn't emulsify you can add more heavy cream, and if it is too thin you can add some more walnuts. I find the ratios given in the instructions however to work perfectly for me every time.
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