Albert and I don’t usually see all that much of each other during the week since client entertaining is a big part of our jobs. It was actually been a little strange having 2.5 weeks where we’ve been together for supper every night around the wedding. Last Thursday, however, it was back to normal as Albert went out and I had the apartment to myself. I decided to celebrate my me-time with a nice pasta supper while watching the Rangers in the playoffs.
I stopped at Eataly for all the ingredients, which means I was working with some great stuff. I had one leek leftover at home so I knew that would make it in the dish. From there, I just chose things that looked good, starting with fresh spinach tagliatelle. I also found some shiitakes that were already chopped into nice little bits, some walnut sauce that was very intriguing, and fresh mozz. I can’t go to an Italian market and not get fresh mozz.
Start by putting water on to boil while you begin sauteing one chopped leek and some chopped shiitake mushrooms (I used about half the carton of mushrooms) in butter or oil. Your water will likely be boiling just as the veggies are tender, which is perfect timing because fresh pasta only takes about 3 minutes to cook. Cook the pasta (I used less than 1/2 lb) while you finish off the sauce by adding a few tablespoons of walnut sauce. This walnut sauce is basically a paste, like a pesto but thicker. Add the pasta directly to the saucepan and then add a few tablespoons of starchy pasta water to get that true sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Usually when recipes say to add pasta water, I say “meh whatever my sauce is fine and doesn’t need to be thinned.” In this case, the pasta water really helps create the sauce so make sure you don’t drain it all out. Once you pile the pasta on a plate, add a few pieces of fresh mozzarella. In this case, it’s really important to use fresh because it’s the only way the cheese will tear apart. You don’t want anything too firm in this dish.
This pasta has a very nutty flavor. While pesto is a nut-based sauce, there’s also tons of herby basil in there. This sauce, however, is all nuts. If you like that nutty flavor, you’ll love this dish. I’ll definitely be making it again because 1) I quite enjoyed it 2) it was very easy to make and 3) the Rangers started scoring only once I sat down to eat and eventually won in overtime so Albert is calling it my lucky pasta.