Thin Spaghetti with Walnuts

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves large garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fine spaghetti (spaghettini), fine linguine, or vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pour the oil into a skillet large enough to hold the pasta. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat pressing the garlic occasionally with the back of a spoon until it turns deep gold, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan. Stir in the walnuts and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

Bring at least 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, then the pasta. Stir well. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, tender yet still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.

Toss the pasta with the nut sauce and just enough of the cooking water to keep it moist. Add the cheese and a generous grinding of black pepper. Toss well. Add the parsley and serve immediately.

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