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Fettuccine with walnut & sage pesto served in a bowl, with cheese grated over the top

Fettuccine with walnut & sage pesto

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 3

Make a creamy pasta sauce with the help of walnuts. This recipe is based on the traditional Ligurian dish salsa di noci ('walnut sauce') but with added sage

Nutrition: Per serving
high infibre6g


  • 100g walnuts
  • 140ml whole or plant milk
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 250g fettuccine
  • 50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 large handfuls of flat-leaf parsley


  • STEP 1

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 3-5 mins until lightly golden to bring out their intense nutty flavour. Remove from the heat and tip into a blender.

  • STEP 2

    Warm the milk, sage leaves and garlic in a small pan over a low heat until the milk is steaming – the sage will lightly cook in the milk and the garlic will start to soften. Cooking the sage like this removes the bitterness but preserves the flavour. Pour the infused milk along with the sage and garlic over the walnuts and leave to stand for 1 min.

  • STEP 3

    Stir the fettuccine into the pan of boiling water and cook for around 10 mins, or until al dente. Grate in the cheese and add the oil and parsley to the blender along with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, then blitz until you have a chunky pesto. Transfer the sauce to a large pan and keep warm over a low heat, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Transfer the fettuccine directly from its cooking water into the sauce using tongs, then toss well, adding a couple of ladlefuls of the water to loosen if needed. Divide between bowls and grate over more parmesan and drizzle with oil.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2022

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