Monday, September 27, 2010

Garden Herb and Walnut Pasta

What on earth happened to September?   Just a few days ago it was Labor Day weekend and we are now just moments away from October.  

I'm not sure exactly how it got away from me, but here we are.     And I'm finally getting to say Goodbye to Summer.    North Carolina has been breaking temperature records all month and we are finally getting a reprieve from the 90s.   This weekend it was like a light switched off.   One day we were drowning in hot and humid summer and the next we dove right into rainy cooler temperatures.    So much for smooth transitions, but, finally, Fall!

Saying goodbye to Summer for me means I am one step closer to our big day.   Just under a month now until our wedding.   I am looking forward to sharing some of the details as we get a little closer.   Warning, if wedding stuff bores you, you may want to tune out for a bit.

Before we go there though, I think it is the perfect time to share with you one of those recipes that just epitomizes the turn from summer to fall for me.   Woodsy, rustic flavors.   Fresh pasta.   Herbs.  Walnuts.  Garlic.    I just love this recipe and it gives me a chance to show off my pasta making skills.

You may recall, during my time in Rome, I spent a day at Cooking Classes in Rome with Chef Andrea.   We had such a fabulous time and one of the highlights of the day was making fresh pasta.   It was a swoon worthy experience, one I wasn't quite sure I'd be able to duplicate at home.

My instincts were right.   I gave it my best shot, but my homemade pasta did not live up to the reputation of that we produced in Italy.   Not even really close.   But, I know this.   Practice makes perfect and I am looking forward to lots more practice.    And the experience of making fresh pasta is so worth it.   It gives me a chance to really get my hands dirty and produce something from nothing.   Even if it doesn't turn out, you can't help but feel a little proud.

So today, I'll share with you the recipe that I modified from the Carrboro Farmer's Market here in North Carolina.     This is one of those handy recipes that you can really play around with.   I made lots of herbal modifications simply by using just those herbs that I actually had on hand.    Every spring I put a couple of pots out with fresh herbs and have a small window of opportunity to add them to almost everything I make before the hot sun dries them out and no amount of watering can save.

Garden Herb and Walnut Pasta

2 Tablespoons Butter
3/4 Cup Walnuts
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Fresh Dill
1/4 Cup Fresh Thyme
1/2 Cup Fresh Sage
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
3/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
Fresh Pasta
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Melt butter in large pan.    Add chopped walnuts and pine nuts and coat evenly with butter.   Cook until warm and toasty.   Be careful not to burn.   Remove nuts from pan and set aside.

Add olive oil to same pan and return to burner.   Add garlic, stirring until fragrant.   Add the dill and sage to the pan and stir.   Add thyme and stir.    Once combined, add the wine and stir some more.   Add the stock to pan.   Simmer for several minutes.

Pour sauce over freshly cooked pasta and toss.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Top with the buttered walnut and pine nut mixture and toss to combine when serving.    Serve hot, warm or cold!   Also good with addition of Parmesan and extra drizzle of olive oil.

There really is a lot of flexibility in this recipe and it is a great way to use up extra herbs that you may have sitting around.  I think it is a perfect introduction into what I hope will be a Fabulous Fall.

Tomorrow, I'll share the trials and tribulations of my first attempt at making homemade pasta!


  1. That looks good!

    Thanks for posting on my blog thread on etsy.

  2. I love making fresh pesto! It's so delicious. I've never tried walnuts (I always seem to have hazelnuts on hand instead) but it looks delicious.

  3. great job making your own pasta!!!!!!

  4. mmmm! another great recipe.

    before i attempt this one, i'mma practice my "adding wine carefully to the pan so's that you don't spill some and cause a very large flame to jump out of your gas burner and scare the ever lovin' bejesus out of you" skills first.


  5. It looks really yummy! I've always wanted to try my hand at making fresh pasta but it seems so daunting! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject :)


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