A local chef in Cinque Terre prepared this dish for us using the herbs we'd picked only moments before. 15 years after trying the dish for the first time, we still make it at home often.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
15 mins
total:
25 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add walnuts and cook until they have softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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  • Combine garlic and 1 pinch sea salt in the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Grind to create a thick paste. Add walnuts, marjoram, thyme, and oregano. Grind until combined and slightly creamy, but still coarse.

  • Transfer the walnut mixture to a large bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil to form a thick emulsion. Add heavy cream and Pecorino Romano cheese, whisk until combined. Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste.

  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the fettuccine, return to a boil, and cook pasta over medium heat until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.

  • Toss walnut sauce with pasta. Garnish with fresh chives.

Cook's Note:

If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you may use a food processor instead.

Nutrition Facts

1066 calories; protein 22.3g; carbohydrates 90.4g; fat 71.7g; cholesterol 61.1mg; sodium 189.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2012
Slurp This is wonderful - what more can I say. Sorry I forgot to sprinkle the chives on top before I took the picture - I remembered them too late for the photo but not to late for us! Thanks for a wonderful recipe and an amazing video. Lovely! Read More
(9)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/12/2018
All in all this recipe has some really great flavors but it is lacking in acidity. This make the taste rather flat for me and I wasn't that impressed. Read More
(1)
17 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2012
Slurp This is wonderful - what more can I say. Sorry I forgot to sprinkle the chives on top before I took the picture - I remembered them too late for the photo but not to late for us! Thanks for a wonderful recipe and an amazing video. Lovely! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
01/17/2013
Is this good or what??! So creamy and flavorful! Made me want to get a mortar and pestle for sure! It kind of tastes like pesto without the basil. It did take a bit of work but so worth it! Next time, I am going to make more to freeze. Also, I used Half & Half and am glad I did because the sauce ended up to be quite thick. Reserve some pasta water to facilitate easy mixing with the pasta... Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2017
I lived in Tuscany for 8 years and enjoyed eating and making salsa di noci. Of course pasta is a first course in Italy and this one, in a "primo-sized" portion, is an ideal choice since it's light. It's also good with just olive oil, no cream. Some make it with ricotta (not my favorite...too gluey). We never cooked the walnuts. They grind well without that step and taste fresh. We didn't use chives or oregano, just the garlic and the marjoram, keeping it exquisitely simple. It's an uncooked sauce. This recipe is excellent. I just simplify it a bit. Also, try it on fusilli. The pasta holds the sauce so well! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/05/2012
Wonderful recipe. I was skeptical when I finished making it but once I mixed it with the pasta, it tasted great. It looked so pretty with the chopped chives tossed in it, too. I made mussels and shrimp with a complimentary sauce and a fresh salad but I ended up mainly filling up on this salsa di noci pasta. Thank you! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
07/22/2016
Love this recipe! It has a wonderful texture and a unique sauce although being a decent amount of work to prepare. My family really enjoyed this dish and I can't wait to make it again. A warning to parents: this is more of an adult tasting dish so younger kids may not find it as delicious. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/20/2016
Some family members liked it others we loved it! I was lazy today and used my blender instead of mortar and pestle..so mine had more the texture and creaminess of alfredo. I used half and half instead of heavy cream with great results. Next time I'm going to follow the recipe exactly just to compare..Thanks for sharing your recipe! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 3 stars
01/12/2018
All in all this recipe has some really great flavors but it is lacking in acidity. This make the taste rather flat for me and I wasn't that impressed. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2020
Excellent! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/08/2016
It was ok. My spouse has been to Italy several times and we make authentic recipes often. I think it would be better omitting tge cream and sautéing the garlic a bit to sweeten it up. Both of us found the dish to powerful. Loved the flavors though! Read More
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