Adapted from Elie Krieger
My husband Jason and I love this dish because the flavors are so unexpected and delicious. Jason used to joke that he had a "rule" that there had to have meat in every dinner....and then he tried this dish! The chicken stock adds flavor, the walnuts bring a hearty substance, and the whole-wheat pasta is satisfying. Good-bye, meat "rule"!
1 box (16 oz) whole wheat fettuccine (linguine will also work)
1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped or smashed
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. (about a half cup) reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta according to box directions (around 8-10 minutes), then drain in a colander. While the pasta cooks, toast the walnuts in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat. Flip (or stir) frequently. Toast until fragrant (be careful not to burn!), around 7 minutes. While pasta drains in colander, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic, stirring until garlic is soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes (you do not want to brown it). Turn off heat. Return pasta to pot, add the broth, toasted walnuts, parmesan, parsley, and ground pepper. Toss to combine. Salt to taste (I don’t salt this dish because the parmesan adds enough saltiness for my tastes). Serve hot in bowls.
I buy whole walnuts because they are cheaper, and then simply smash them by putting them in a large ziploc and banging on them with the flat side of my meat mallet. You don't want to crush these too much - crumbs are no good. Just get them down to smaller chunks. When toasting the walnuts, be sure to flip often. Once you start to smell them you're getting close! Walnuts should turn golden - not too dark. The photo here shows what they should look like.