- 1 cup walnut or pecan halves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, washed and dried
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound linguine, spaghetti or other long pasta.
- 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Meanwhile, combine nuts, parsley and garlic in a small food processor and turn machine on. (Or use a mortar and pestle.) Add oil gradually, using just enough so that mixture forms a creamy paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- 2. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but not mushy. When it is ready, drain it, reserving a little cooking water. Toss with sauce. If mixture appears too thick, thin with a little more olive oil or some of the pasta cooking water.
- Pasta With Creamy Walnut Sauce: Omit garlic and olive oil. Combine nuts, parsley and a few small chunks of Parmesan (or about 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan) and process as above. When mixture is grainy, transfer it to a bowl and combine with 3/4 cup creamy ricotta, heavy cream or half-and-half; mixture should be the consistency of creamed butter. Toss cooked pasta with sauce, thinning with cooking water as necessary. Serve, passing additional Parmesan at the table.
Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup acorn flour, or whole wheat, spelt or barley flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
- 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- Mix the flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
- Buzz the sugar and rosemary together in a food processor until you get rosemary sugar, about 20-30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Fit your mixer with a paddle attachment.
- Pulse all but 2 heaping tablespoons of the toasted pine nuts in the food processor until well crushed, but not smooth. The crushed nuts go in the cookie, the whole ones go on top of the cookie.
- Add the butter to the sugar-rosemary mixture and beat on high speed until it is fluffy, about 90 seconds. Turn off the machine, add the egg, then turn it on low and increase the speed of the mixer until the egg is combined. Add the crushed pine nuts and the flour mixture and beat until this is all combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log. The thicker the log, the wider the cookie. 1-2 inches is a good diameter. Wrap the dough tightly with the plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days. You need this resting time for the butter to harden and the flours to absorb moisture.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Get two large cookie sheets out and slice the dough log into coins of about 1/4 inch thick. Shape them as best you can into circles (use a cutter if you really want to), and press 3-4 whole pine nuts into each cookie.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before you move them to a rack to cool thoroughly. They should keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Black Walnut Snowball Cookies
Makes 16 cookies, and can be scaled up.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 1 cup cake or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped black walnuts
- 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange flower water
- 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stick of butter (1/4 pound), cut into small pieces
- Powdered sugar for dusting, about 1 cup
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix all the ingredients except the powdered sugar in a large bowl. Mix with your clean hands, mashing the dry ingredients with the butter until you get a mixture that looks like lumpy meal.
- Form the dough into little balls the size of a walnut and place on an ungreased sheet pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Take the cookies out and let them cool for 5 minutes or so. After they are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar and set aside on a rack to cool. Then, when they are totally cool, roll them in powdered sugar one more time.
Acorn (or Chestnut) Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup acorn or chestnut flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour or all-purpose wheat flour
- ¼ cup toasted and chopped pine nuts (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 separated eggs
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Butter for greasing pans
- Grease the springform pan or ramekins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the acorn flour, wheat flour, baking soda and powder and salt in a bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in another large bowl, beat the egg yolks, oil, honey and 2 tablespoons of sugar together until it looks like caramel. Mix in the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl, add the egg whites and just a pinch of salt and beat into soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat a bit more, so the whites are reaching the firm peak stage.
- Fold this into the dough a little at a time gently.
- Pour, or really gently place, the dough into the ramekins (remember they will rise!) or the springform pan. Using a rubber spatula flatten out the top and place in the oven as fast as you can.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, watch for burning, as acorn flour browns faster than chestnut flour. Remove from the oven, let rest 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
- When they have cooled for a good 15-20 minutes or so, dust with the confectioner’s sugar.
Makes 6-8 piadine, depending on size
- 2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
- ¾ cup acorn flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- A scant cup of water (7/8 cup to be exact)
- Sift the flours and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
- Add the olive oil and water in the center of the well and swirl to combine with a finger or two. When the dough gets shaggy, start bringing it together with your hands, then knead it on a floured surface for 5-8 minutes. Use a bit more flour if it is too loose.
- Lightly coat with more olive oil, wrap in plastic and set aside for at least an hour. This dough can hold in the fridge for a day.
- Take the dough out of the fridge if you’ve put it in there and let it warm to room temperature. Get a griddle or a well-oiled cast iron pan hot over medium heat.
- Cut the dough into equal parts; I’d suggest between 6-8. Roll them out one at a time with a roller and then your hands – they need not be perfect, as this is a rustic bread. You want them thin, though, about 1/8 inch.
- Lightly oil the griddle and cook the piadine one or two at a time for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to get nice and brown. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Keep them warm in towels while you make the rest. Serve with some cheese, fresh herbs – green onions are excellent with this – and some high-quality olive oil.
Acorn (or Chestnut) Spaetzle
(note: I’ve used a different image, from here, for this. The original site, which is still listed in the click-through, has a picture of the spaetzle plated with venison sauerbraten, and I didn’t want any vegetarians or deerkin to avoid this recipe because of that.)
- 1/2 cup acorn or chestnut flour
- 1 1/2 cups regular or whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- Whisk together the two flours and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the milk and eggs together in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and mix well with a fork until you get a sticky batter.
- Cover and let this sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes, to allow the flours to hydrate.
- Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Using a spaetzle maker, a coarse grater, colander or other device with large holes, drop the spaetzle dough into the water in little bits. Boil for 2-3 minutes after they all rise to the surface.
- If you are eating them now, they’re ready. To hold for up to a day or so, plunge the spaetzle into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and toss with a little oil, then set out on a sheet pan for up to a few hours, or in a covered container for a day or two.
Original Recipe Yield 18 maple leaves
- 2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Boil until syrup reaches 235 degrees F (110 degrees C) on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat and cool to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C) without stirring, about 10 minutes.
- Stir mixture rapidly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until the color turns lighter and mixture becomes thick and creamy. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired.
- Pour into molds. Set aside to cool. Once cool, unmold candy. Store in airtight containers up to 1 month.