Walnut sauce

Difficulty: low
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Preparation time:40 minutes
Serves: 4

Walnut sauce is typically used in Ligurian cuisine used to dress pasta dishes, with the most famous walnut sauce dish being “pansotti alla genovese”, a stuffed pasta dish.

Walnut sauce was originally known as “Tocco de nux” and was prepared using walnuts harvested in autumn. An ideal addition to your antipasti too, for deliciously imaginative cuisine.


1 clove garlic · approx. 250 ml milk · 1 sprig marjoram · 250 g walnuts · ½ cup olive oil · 40 g soft breadcrumbs · 40 g Parmigiano Reggiano · 30 g pine nuts · salt to taste


To prepare the walnut sauce, first blanch the walnuts for at least 5 minutes in boiling water, to make it easier to remove the skin. After 5 minutes, drain the walnuts and leave to cool. In the meantime, soak the soft breadcrumbs in the milk in a bowl, and once they are soft and well soaked, drain and set aside the milk.
Peel the walnuts one by one and place them in a blender (or a mortar if you have one) with the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and oil. Add the soaked and drained breadcrumbs and the marjoram: switch on the blender and add a dash of milk (you can use the milk you soaked the soft breadcrumbs in), until you achieve a thick creamy consistency, then season with salt to taste. Once you have a smooth, even mixture, your walnut sauce is ready for use, perfect with plain or filled pasta – why not make your very own Ligurian pansotti?


If you use a mortar to prepare your walnut sauce, grind the ingredients firmly to achieve a thick mixture which you can dilute by drizzling in the olive oil and milk as necessary.
You can make preparing your walnut sauce even easier by using the pre-peeled, ready-to-use walnuts you can find in the supermarket.
If you don’t like the flavour of the garlic in your walnut sauce, simply leave it out: your version won’t be strictly true to the original of course, but it’ll taste just as good!
Taken from Giallo Zafferano