Sunday, March 8, 2009

Walnut Sauce for Pasta

Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and fat - but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids - the good fats) that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. Walnuts, in particular, have significantly higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as compared to other nuts.

More than a decade of scientific evidence shows that incorporating walnuts in a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel elasticity and plaque accumulation. Walnuts have also been shown to aid in the lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and the C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP was recently recognized as an independent marker and predictor of heart disease.

for all the above and more here is a very simple, yet elegant full of flavour , also can be as a vegetarian meal , and takes less than 15 minutes.

2 1/2 cups freshly shelled walnuts
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups whipping cream - half and half - full fat milk or even Soya Milk
(I use half and half, also tried this with regular milk to see the difference)
2 tbsp rosemary leaves chopped (I didn't have fresh I used dried)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
one pound tube pasta, or linguine
fresh black pepper and salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F . Scatter walnuts on a baking sheet and place them in the oven . Roast for couple of minutes until fragnant and lightly browned, allow to cool then chop coarsley. You can roast them in a non stick frying pan keeping an eye on them.

In a frying pan, on very low heat melt the butter and cook garlic until lightly golden, add the chopped nuts cream and rosemary cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
meanwhile bring a large port of water to a boil. add salt and pasta and cook until al dente, drain and toss with sauce. add the parmesan cheese , season and serve.