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Recipes Entrees Whole Wheat Linguine with Walnut Sauce
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Written by Whole Grain Gourmet   
Monday, 18 February 2008 00:00

Linguine Alle Noci

You may have bumped into this recipe, adapted from Mario Batali's Holiday Food, at least once before. I'm likely the first person to try to persuade you to make it with whole grain pasta.

We discovered this recipe a few years ago and served it at a New Year's celebration. I remember that it paired quite nicely with grilled marinated rack of lamb. My wife especially likes this recipe and we revisit it on occasion. In recent years, we have started using whole wheat linguine. Whole wheat pastas are fairly common these days and you can even find them imported directly from Italy at your local wholesale club. It's a staple item in our home.

Some are skeptical of whole wheat pasta's texture and flavor and at times it can be a tough sell. This recipe is hearty and rich. It was made for whole wheat pasta. The texture and flavor of whole wheat compliment nicely the walnuts, bread crumbs, and Romano cheese, all of which give this recipe its distinct appeal.

In addition to whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread crumbs, I further modified the original recipe by increasing the garlic and adding extra Romano cheese to garnish. I enjoy this pasta served with a roasted/grilled meat and mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I hope you enjoy it as well.

This recipe is very easy to prepare and quite presentable if you are entertaining. It always gets rave reviews from our friends. Did I mention that it is delicious?

Whole Wheat Linguine with Walnut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted hard whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Preparation:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium heat. Sauté the sliced garlic until light brown, about 2 minutes. Do not allow it to burn. Add half of the bread crumbs, the walnuts, and pepper flakes and sauté allowing it to toast lightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Boil 6 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and your preference on the al dente scale. I like this with the pasta a bit over al dente. Remove 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the skillet with the walnut mixture. Drain the pasta.
  3. Return the skillet to a medium heat, add the pasta and toss until well coated. Stir in the parsley and 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs and ¼ cup of grated cheese.

Serves 6

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