Hazelnut Tahini Pasta

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

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.

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

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. 

hazelnut tahini pasta

Serves: serves 2, with extra sauce
for the sauce:
  • 1 cup unsalted hazelnuts, toasted & shelled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • water, as needed to thin (about ¼ cup, if necessary)
for the pasta:
  • 8 oz. pasta, plus some reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • a few pinches of red pepper flake
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Toast your hazelnuts well. (In a 300 degree oven for 15 or so mins, or in a skillet for about 5).
  2. 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.
  3. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Jan

    Was the olive oil for the sauce a 1/4 cup because it just 1/4?

  2. paula

    This was great! i would put WAY more brussels in next time — but i do love a sprout!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback!

  3. So excited to try this recipe as I am gluten-free and this is such an easy clean recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. Chantal from travellingpapilles.blogspot.fr

    Hi Jeanine,
    I’am Chantal from Travelling Papilles.
    I just discover and like your nice blog!
    This recipe is really original, I’ll give it a try.

  5. Tori

    Just tried a rendition of this. I subbed quinoa pasta for corn pasta and I used fresh avocado slices on top instead of Brussels… It was delish!!! Such a simple easy meal to make. Thanks for the great recipes!

    • jeanine

      sounds delicious, so glad you liked!

  6. Awesome recipe and I think that plate was tailor-made for this dish! It’s perfect & I want it! 🙂 pinned

    • jeanine

      ha, thanks. Those anthro plates work every time 🙂

  7. I’ve been subscribed to your site for ages now and no idea why I haven’t commented! I love this pasta idea especially with using up ingredients; a process I’m going through myself right now! The tahini sauce sounds divine!

  8. Ashley from edibleperspective.com

    Quinoa pasta has THEE best GF texture. So so good. This creamy sauce sounds outstanding and so simple. Always love your creativity. Wishing you luck with Saveur!

  9. chelsea from thegirlwholovedtowrite.com

    Ugly, yet tasty! Haha, that’s the perfect way to sum up tahini.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.