I spent the whole weekend organizing and cleaning my kitchen. I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt to make breakfast in there this morning. It was like I have a brand new kitchen.
The majority of the organizing was in my pantry. Since we live on an island, I usually stock up on items that are hard to find like gluten-free flour, almond flour, dried fruit, kalamata olives, tahini, etc. As I was cleaning, I realized how much food I accumulated and forgot about in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, some items were expired and I had to throw them away. I felt really bad for doing that and decided, from now on, I would do monthly inventories at the beginning of every month.
One item that I totally forgot about and was very happy to see was a jar of sun-dried tomatoes I bought from a very old lady in a small farm, when we were in Seattle last year. I remember buying it with the intention of using it in a pasta sauce, as I love the sweet and sour flavors that it adds to the dish.
There was no expiration date on it. I was a little worried as I was opening the jar thinking that there might have been a science experiment happening in it. Luckily, it was in good shape.
I knew that I should not wait any longer and use it right away. That is when I decided to make this pasta dish. I have had this idea of creating a white pasta sauce with walnuts, but thought that it would be somewhat heavy just by itself. I thought the sweet and sour taste of sun-dried tomatoes would balance all the flavors for the perfect pasta dish.
And, I was right. At least, my husband and I thought so.
After plating it, I sprinkled it with chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. It tasted heavenly. I served it with a simple green salad and a glass of Chardonnay for dinner.
If you are looking for a luxurious pasta dish for your Meatless Monday menu, you should try making this Linguine with Walnut Béchamel Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe. You will not be disappointed.
Linguine with Walnut Béchamel Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 small shallots minced
- 3 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press or minced
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped
- 1 packet of dry Linguine
- 1 small jar of Sun-Dried Tomatoes drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- To make the Béchamel Sauce: Place the milk, walnuts, shallots, and garlic in a small saucepan in medium heat. Bring it to a boil. After it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- In another large pan, melt the butter in medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until they are combined and flour is cooked. Slowly whisk in the milk and walnut sauce. Season it with salt and pepper. Let it come to a boil and turn down the heat to low. Simmer it for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. It will get slightly thicker. At the very last minute, add a pinch of nutmeg and stir to combine.
- In the mean time, cook linguine according to the package instructions.
- Place the cooked linguine in the béchamel sauce and stir to ensure that the pasta is totally coated with the sauce. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes.
- When ready to serve, individually plate the pasta on a large plate, sprinkle it with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
The Walnut Béchamel Sauce part of this recipe is adapted with changes from Deborah Madison’s Cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.