I keep a pretty full pantry (to say the least). I love to have a variety of oils, vinegars, grains & nuts on hand… but every now and then “on hand” becomes completely out of hand. This little sauce came about one day when I was cleaning out my shelves and found five separate stashes of hazelnuts. Some were newly purchased, some were tucked waaay in the back. Also, back beyond my immediate reach was a still-pretty-new-yet-forgotten-about jar of tahini.
I had pasta noodles to use up, but this would be great as a dressing drizzled over a farro salad, or over greens with roasted sweet potatoes.
It doesn’t puree as smooth as cashew-based sauces (and it’s definitely not pretty). It’s a bit on the grainy side, but has that nice tahini tang and also a bit of sweetness from the hazelnuts.
You may have noticed already, but this recipe was posted as a little L&L feature over at the The Chalkboard last week.
- 1 cup unsalted hazelnuts, toasted & shelled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 olive oil
- salt, pepper
- water, as needed to thin (about 1/4 cup, if necessary)
- 8 oz. pasta, plus some reserved pasta water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups of brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- a few pinches of red pepper flake
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Toast your hazelnuts well. (In a 300 degree oven for 15 or so mins, or in a skillet for about 5).
- Make the sauce by pureeing the hazelnuts, garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil in a high speed blender. Drizzle water, as necessary to get your blade moving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add the shaved brussels sprouts into the skillet in one layer (you might have to work in batches if they don’t all fit). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Let them cook for a minute or so (until they begin browning), and flip. Cook for another couple of minutes until the edges are golden.
- Remove the brussels sprouts from the pan and toss them with the pasta and as much or little sauce as you like. Add a little pasta water, as needed, to create a creamy sauce. Top with toasted hazelnuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Raw cashews, walnuts, or blanched almonds can be substituted for the hazelnuts.
I used quinoa noodles but use whatever pasta you like.