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Pasta with Hazelnut Sauce - 'Salsa di Nocciole'

Posted on September 20 2015

To Serve:  6 people       Difficulty:  EASY             Preparation:  15 minutes

Tasty, fragrant, creamy and light: "Salsa di nocciole" a hazelnut pasta sauce is a typical Piedmont dish. The blend of hazelnuts gives a rich creamy favour without the need for cream.  Simple to make and delicious, this elegant dish is perfect for special occasions and ideal as something to whip up for unexpected guests.

Ingredients

200 grams toasted hazelnuts
3 slices white bread
salted ricotta 
70 grams extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
500 grams long pasta
salt pepper 

Optional - grated Parmesan 

Preparation

Cut the crusts from the bread and remove them. Cut each slice into 4 pieces and soak in the milk. Squeeze the white bread slices of excess milk and put them in the blender along with 140 grams of hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons oil, two pinches of salt, a tablespoon of ricotta and an additional two tablespoons of milk.

Whisk, add the remaining oil and, if necessary, a little 'milk.

Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens.  

Coarsely chop the remaining 60g of hazelnuts and keep them for decorating dishes.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  

Before straining the pasta, add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water to the hazelnut sauce and stir until ithe sauce becomes soft. 

Strain the pasta and mix thoroughly into the hazelnut sauce. Season to taste and then let it stand to dry slightly for about a minute.

Serve onto plates and decorate with the chopped hazelnuts, grated parmesan, salt and pepper.

 

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