Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Walnut Sauce (with Pasta)

I know I've been quiet for a while; things are happening. The class I teach. The other job. It's festival season in Louisiana! And in that quiet time, I have come back from the land of vegan with some homemade pizza, a new old fondue set and some incredible cornmeal cookies. That's all on its way, but I have a few more vegan recipes of the moment. Not to say there won't be vegan options sprinkled throughout in the future, but before I move back to mixed terrain, I just have a couple more things to say about being animal free.

I founds this recipe in my "Vegetarian for Everyone" book. It was last summer and I was trying to come up with something to do with green beans, aside from douse them in butter. I don't actually like green beans all that much, but I tend to buy things when they're in season, just to keep it interesting. I still don't <3 style="font-style: italic;">

for the walnut sauce
3/4 c. walnuts

2-3 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp salt

fresh ground white pepper

2-3 tbsp olive oil
  1. With a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper until relatively smooth.
  2. Add olive oil one tbsp at a time until desired consistency.
  3. Done and done.
for the green beans
  1. Boil water with a healthy pinch of salt.
  2. As water boils, trims green beans. When boiling, dump them in and cook for just about a minute or until the beans are a bright green color. No longer, or they get soggy. I would always err on the side of under cooking here, because green beans are still good raw, but they taste like icky mush if they're over cooked.
  3. Drain.
You can do the broccoli similarly, although I usually pan steam my broccoli, because I don't want it to pick up too much water. This means heating a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat, throwing the broccoli in, adding about an 1/8 c. of water and putting a lid over it. Again, cook until broccoli is bright green and tender - easy to test it with the prongs of a fork.

If you have a lot of pots and space, you can prepare the pasta as you prepare the green beans. Since I don't, and I don't have a dishwasher and am always trying to consolidate dirty dishes, I did the green beans first and then boiled more water and cooked the pasta in the same pot. I used whole wheat linguine here, but whatever pasta's your pleasure would work fine. I also see this with bowties.

When the pasta has been drained, just toss together. You'll have to eyeball how much pasta etc you need for how many people you're feeding. I'd say this is generally pretty subjective. This makes plenty of walnut sauce - when I made it it was for 2 and I've eaten it twice since then and there's still a ton, so I would say you could easily feed six with this. You may need to add a little extra olive oil to the pasta. Don't be shy. It's the good kind of fat.

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