Lime Pasta With Hazelnuts


Hazelnuts and lime are a good combination in themselves and the citrus cuts the heaviness of the cream sauce as well. Add colorful slivers of red, yellow and green bell peppers. Or add smoked chicken or turkey to make this a main-dish pasta.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts or pistachio nuts

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons minced lemon zest

1/3 cup lime or lemon juice

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 large shallot

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 1/2 cups heavy cream



1/2 pound Fresh pasta (fettuccine or spaghetti), plain or spinach or about 4  ounces dry pasta

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Freshly ground black pepper


    Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and sauté 2 minutes. Remove to paper towels, then chop coarsely.


    Combine the garlic and lemon zest and set aside.


    To prepare the sauce, heat the lime or lemon juice, vinegar and shallot to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil until reduced by about a third, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken broth and mix until smooth. Add the broth to the saucepan, then, stirring constantly, whisk in the cream. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened enough to coat a spoon, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


    Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until tender to the bite. Drain and immediately return to the same pan over medium heat. Add the sauce, garlic and lemon zest and toss to coat all the strands. Heat long enough to warm. Divide the pasta among 6 serving plates and sprinkle with cheese and toasted nuts. Or serve the pasta on a platter lined with sorrel leaves, allowing the tips of the leaves to show. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.



    Omit the nuts or cheese and add finely minced lemon basil and thyme or basil instead.