Discovering Ligurian Salsa di Noci: a nutty revelation

Walnuts are featured in this pasta dish with a (sort of) bread sauce.
Walnuts are featured in this pasta dish with a (sort of) bread sauce.

Walnuts are featured in this pasta dish with a (sort of) bread sauce.

I’ve always enjoyed walnuts, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered their potential as a hero ingredient in a meal. Enter Ligurian salsa di noci – a garlicky, walnutty sauce that piqued my interest with its resemblance to bread sauce. 

As a fan of bread sauce since making Delia’s circa 1999, I’ve often pondered how to incorporate it into more main meals. 

While respecting both Italian and British culinary traditions, I must clarify that this is not bread sauce; it’s silkier, nuttier, and simply divine when paired with twisted trofie pasta and topped with fragrant fresh oregano.

Recipe: Walnut and Bread Sauce Pasta

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  • 50g ciabatta or other good white bread
  • 100ml whole oat milk
  • 150g shelled walnut halves
  • 150ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 15g nutritional yeast
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt, plus extra for pasta water
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Roughly grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g trofie or similar pasta
  • 10g fresh oregano, leaves picked and chopped


  1. Tear up the bread and soak it in a small bowl with oat milk for 10 minutes. Transfer the bread mix to a food processor, add walnuts, oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and juice. Blend until mostly smooth, with a few crunchy nutty bits.
  2. Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve a mug of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  3. Return the pasta to the empty pan on low heat. Add the walnut and bread sauce and 100ml of the reserved cooking water. Toss until the sauce becomes creamy and coats the pasta.
  4. Stir in the oregano, then distribute the pasta between plates or shallow bowls. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Enjoy the nutty goodness of this Ligurian-inspired pasta dish, elevated with the richness of walnuts and the freshness of oregano!

Gary Monroe

Gary Monroe is a seasoned contributor to the Los Angeles Business Magazine, where he offers insightful analysis on local business trends and economic developments. With a focus on Los Angeles' dynamic commercial landscape, Gary's articles provide valuable perspectives for entrepreneurs and business professionals in the city.

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