- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 whole salted anchovies (see Note) or 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the walnuts in a pie pan and toast in the oven for 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to flake away as much of the skin as possible. Coarsely chop the nuts.
- In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring and pressing them into the oil with the back of a fork until almost dissolved. Stir in the walnuts and keep warm.
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost al dente; add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the walnut sauce and bring to a simmer. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the walnut sauce. Turn and stir the pasta to coat it with the sauce as it finishes cooking, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer the pasta to a warmed bowl, garnish with the parsley and serve at once.
To prepare salted anchovies, rinse them under running water. Strip the fillets away from the bones; discard the bones and tails. don't worry about getting every tiny bone out of the filletsmost will dissolve in the sauce anyway.
Garlic, anchovies and walnuts need a fragrant regional white to bridge their flavors. Try a Fiano di Avellino from Mastroberardino or Feudi di San Gregorio.