This post has been sponsored by Nestlé® Carnation®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Raise your hand if you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen but still want to enjoy delicious homemade meals. That’s exactly my current mood and for that reason, today’s recipe is a walnut pesto. In Italy, they call it salsa di noci.
This salsa di noci is a no-cook pasta sauce that can be made in less than 5 minutes while the pasta is cooking. That means you can have dinner ready in less than 15 minutes. Besides the walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, I add Nestlé® Carnation® Evaporated Milk for extra creaminess. This is heaven.
Now that Carnation evaporated milk comes in a pretty convenient 17oz carton that is reclosable and can be refrigerated, I’m using it not only for desserts but also as a substitute for cream in quiches, omelets, savory pies, and sauces— like this walnut pesto, too!
A good thing about Carnation evaporated milk: a little amount is inversely proportional to the delicious flavor and richness that it brings to your dishes, and now you can easily save and refrigerate it for your next recipe. I get the new Carnation evaporated milk at my local Walmart in the baking aisle.
A cousin of pesto alla Genovese
Salsa di noci is a Ligurian recipe. Liguria is a region in northern Italy, whose capital is Genoa. In Genoa, a seaport in the Mediterranean, Christopher Columbus and the world-known pesto alla Genovese were born. Salsa di noci is less well-known than its pesto alla Genovese cousin, but it is equally delicious and easy to make.
I used to have salsa di noci in my hometown, Caracas, in Venezuela. This wasn’t a sauce I had at home though… I used to have it at a local Italian restaurant named Da Sandra. Due to the immigrants that made Venezuela home after World War II, Italian influence is notorious and highly appreciated. The best Italian food was served in modest restaurants and trattorias. Da Sandra, run by an Italian lady named Sandra, was one of them.
How to make salsa di noci
My children love this nutty pesto and so do I. Trust me, you’ll love it too. Garlic and Parmesan cheese play a great role as flavoring agents. The addition of evaporated milk enriches this nutty no-cook mélange, making it perfect, nutritious, and comforting—not only for hot summer days but all year round.
Below is my recipe. I hope you like it as much as we do.
Pasta with Walnut Pesto
- 1 package of orechiette
- 1 cup of walnuts shelled
- ¼ of pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/3 cup of Nestlé® Carnation® Evaporated Milk
- Coarse sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of fresh curly parsley chopped
- Cook the orechiette al dente, following the package directions.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, evaporated milk and salt.
- Pulse and while processing, add the olive oil.
- Keep processing until the desired pesto consistency is reached.
- Serve the orechiette with the walnut pesto, shave some Parmesan cheese on top, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.