I did it again. I wandered in to Pastaworks and walked out with a small sack of $9 pasta. Last time it was cute, spotted, and very expensive red and white heirloom beans. This time? Ligurian Croxetti Pasta.
Pasta that has been hand stamped using traditional wooden stamps. If that wasn’t enough to stop me in my tracks, taking a look at the little designs on each disc of pasta made me a tiny bit teary eyed. Flowers, sunsets, sailboats, beach umbrellas and a pot of cooking pasta, of course. The pasta is traditionally from the Riviera Levante, so beach scenes are no surprise. I’m this close to trying to figure out to hang them on my walls.
On the back of the package they recommend pairing the pasta with a walnut sauce. A heavy creamy sauce in the middle of a heat wave just didn’t appeal to me and I wanted to keep the sauce light. I decided on a riff of a walnut herb sauce I found on Epicurious.
You know when you make something and it surprises you how good it is? That’s how this dish is.
After cooking it, the pasta rested in Pyrex for the better part of the day waiting to be taken to Adam’s folks house for dinner that evening. I have a feeling that allowing the pasta to sit and mingle with the sauce for a few hours and then giving it a quick reheat in a warm pan is just the ticket to allow the sauce to penetrate the pasta. Make enough for leftovers. Trust me.
My friend, Beth, observed that the pasta looks like communion discs, and she’s right. So if you happen upon this fancy little pasta, be sure to take pause when eating it and thank the Italian pasta gods for inspiring something so simple and yet so perfect.
Ligurian Croxetti Pasta and a Walnut Herb Sauce
The herb sauce is just delicious. Smother it on ravioli, or whatever pasta you have in the cupboard. Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand to sop up the juice sitting on the bottom of your plate.
What you’ll need~
A sack of fancy Ligurian pasta, or whatever you have on hand
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 – 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 or so garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry sherry
Zest from one lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1-2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Sliced coppa or prosciutto, optional
Handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino Romano, shaved
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Melt butter in a large skillet of medium high heat.
Toss in the walnuts and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, until golden.
Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.
Pour in sherry and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Add lemon zest, parsley, rosemary and coppa.
Simmer for one minute.
Toss in cherry tomatoes, add cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finish with a coarse sea salt and shaving of pecorino Romano.