Anne's Blog

A Naples Recipe for an Umbria Summer: Pasta with Walnuts and Tomatoes

Date: August 27, 2018 - categories: , , , - 1 Comment

Years ago, Salvatore, dear friend from Naples, cooked me this pasta dish and it was always a hit in my U.S. cooking classes.   Salvatore made his salsa with the famous walnuts of Sorrento (said to be the best in Italy) of his cousin’s walnut trees.

For this tasty pasta sauce, I have to use Umbrian walnuts,  ours –  if we had a good year – or Peppa’s…

No cherry tomatoes in our garden now but buonissimi ones raised on the land of Roberto and Emanuela and sold in their roadside fruit and vegetable shop:

Daughter Sofia was there to help out her parents on this busy Saturday:

…and some clients were picking up crates of tomatoes they’d ordered to put up for their tomato sauce for the winter:

We headed home with our tomatoes (and peaches and melons) and made this easy quick sauce for our lunchtime rigatoni pasta:

Salvatore’s Tomato Walnut Pasta Sauce

Ingredients (a pasta sauce for 6 – 8 persons)
1 pt of ripe cherry tomatoes (or small-sized Piccadilly tomatoes or any variety of small vine tomatoes)
1 – 1 1/2 c chopped walnuts
2 anchovies, packed in oil
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 c).
salt, q.b.  q.b. (quanto basta”  or “as much as you need” – though probably none needed as anchovies salty)
2 – 3 garlic cloves
generous amount of fresh basil leaves
optional:  handful of pine nuts
Pecorino cheese (or another sharp cheese)  – to grate on pasta before serving

Wash tomatoes and halve them (though no need to halve smaller ones). Chop walnuts (but do not grind):

Chop basil leaves (and you can also add basil tips and flowers, simply adding later to tomatoes as they soften, then removing):

Warm olive oil in sauce pan and stir in the garlic cloves until they are golden:

Stir in cherry tomatoes for just a few minutes until they start to soften:

Remove from pan:

Stir chopped walnuts into the olive oil. 

Add a bit of olive oil if necessary, then gently simmer walnuts in olive oil a few minutes:

Return tomatoes to the pan, add basil and then a couple anchovies (packed in oil): 

…and we added our own touch to Salvatore’s pasta sauce today:  pinenuts…

We stirred our sauce into rigatoni pasta, moistening a bit with the brodo della pasta (“pasta water” or salted water in which you’ve boiled the pasta).  Thinking about it, I’ve decided that this pasta sauce could be delicious if made with almonds, too…or pecans..or hazelnuts..? Or a combination of all.

I’ll have to ask Salvatore what he thinks… 

Click here for another tasty tomato recipe
Click here for another favorite summertime tomato sauce recipe
Click here for more recipes
Click here to read about another U.S. cooking class where walnuts highlight a recipe
Read about – and see! – the memorable U.S. cooking classes
Click here for another summertime recipe with tomatoes

1 Comment

  • Ann says:

    Anne, this sauce looks wonderful! I’m going to try it tomorrow with our garlic, tomatoes and basil from the garden.

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