pasta with garlic almond sauce

by Stacy

My husband actually got home from work before I left for rehearsal tonight! Of course, I hadn’t planned to make us both dinner. I suggested a garlicky pasta we had tried a few months ago which he had liked for which we had all the ingredients. I thought.

New rule: Always check to see if your spouse has been snacking on your pantry items (like almonds) before starting a recipe. Sigh. I scraped by, but you will note the lack of toasted almonds on top of the pasta. My basil isn’t big enough to harvest yet, so I just used mint.

pasta in garlic almond sauce

Last time I used blender; this time I used my food processor. While the food processor is easier to clean, I think the blender made a smoother sauce, so that is my recommendation. The recipe serves 6, so I make half and can still save one serving for lunch the next day!

The garlic is flavorful but not overwhelming. The pureed almonds and pasta water give the sauce a nice creaminess without any cream. You could add zucchini or asparagus, I’m sure, but it’s nice as-is just with the bright green peas.

Pasta in Garlic-Almond Sauce
Serves 6
Adapted from Gourmet April 2009

  • 3/4 cup whole blanched almonds (4 oz)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lb cavatappi or other small tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (torn if large), divided
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves (torn if large), divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds (2 oz)

РPur̩e blanched almonds, garlic, water, and 1/4 tsp salt in a blender until smooth.

– Cook pasta in boiling salted water (3 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water) until almost tender. Drain pasta, reserving 3 cups of pasta water.

РWhile pasta is cooking, heat oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add almond pur̩e and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups reserved cooking water, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 Tbsp butter until melted. Add pasta and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente (sauce will be thin), 2 to 3 minutes. Add cheese and lemon juice and stir until combined well.

– Remove from heat and stir in half of basil and mint and salt and pepper to taste. Serve pasta in bowls topped with chopped almonds, remaining herbs, and additional cheese.

pasta is garlic almond sauce

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