If you love the taste of almonds, this pasta dish is for you. Lightly toasted nuts make for a luscious sauce as well as a crunchy topping, says Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who created this recipe for Real Food. And with National Nut Day celebrated on October 22 and World Pasta Day falling on the 25, it’s the perfect time to give this a try.
Almonds are not only tasty, they’re also good for you. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, and riboflavin, and a good source of fiber and phosphorus. A one-ounce serving (which is about 23 almonds, if you’re curious) has 13 grams of the good unsaturated fats and just 1 gram of saturated fat. Almonds are cholesterol-free and naturally salt-free and low in sugar. (Curious how the various tree nuts compare to each other in nutrition? Check out this chart at the Almond Board of California.)
When making this recipe, if you want to include meat or seafood, you could sauté some chopped chicken breast or shrimp with the shallots, notes Asbell, then proceed with the recipe, simmering the sauce until the meat is cooked through.
Spaghetti with Broccoli and Creamy Almond Sauce
Makes 4 Servings
¾ cup slivered almonds, divided
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped shallot
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
8 ounces broccoli
1 large carrot, julienned
½ cup shredded Parmesan
¼ cup chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Spread almonds on a sheet pan and toast 10 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- Using a food processor, grind ½ cup almonds to a fine powder. With the machine running, gradually pour in stock to purée. Add salt and pepper, and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté 5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Add garlic, stir, and cook 2 minutes. Add nut mixture and lemon zest, and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes, until thick.
- Keep warm over low heat.
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Add broccoli and carrot to pot to cook when 2 minutes remain. Drain well and add to almond sauce. Add Parmesan and toss well. Serve topped with remaining almonds and parsley.
Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 468 (174 From Fat); Fat 20g (Sat. 4g); Chol 10mg; Sodium 1024mg; Carb 58g; Fiber 10g; Protein 21g