Pasta with Walnut Sauce ~ Food For Thought

"In which we offer up a recipe in which somehow relates to a book we've read."
Please click logo above to learn more.

I chose A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena di Blasi

The author relates in voluptuous detail about her time in Venice ~ the sights, sounds, tastes and history of the city known as The Queen of the Adriatic in almost travelogue form.

Image by: 1001 Masquerade Masks (

A food consultant, journalist and restaurant critic Ms. de Blasi conveys the story of her romance with a certain Italian banker who fell in love with her at first sight.
She eventually moves from St Louis, Missouri to marry him and settle in Italy.

While the story of their romance, marriage and periods of adjustment may be interesting... I was most captivated by her deep knowledge of the history, and her vivid descriptions of life in Venice.

I hardly had to look far for a recipe to tie-in with the book as the author shares a few at the end of the book.

This one is utterly delicious, rich & creamy elegant sauce with a very slight hint of sweet citrus in the background.
I've made it twice, once with homemade pasta (spaghetti a la guitarra/Chitarra) ~ "from the guitar", and the other time with store bought, dried Italian fettuccine. I think the fettuccine stood up to the stout sauce a little better than the finer homemade pasta.

Besides the pasta (homemade, or not) here are the ingredients needed for this lovely sauce:

Lightly toasted walnuts, olive oil, cream, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and

a bit of slightly sweet wine. Fresh parsley, and finely grated orange zest. (My addition.)

I chose a local, Late Harvest Voignier. You can click the logo to learn more.

Marlena notes: " As divine as this sauce is, tossed with just-cooked pasta, it presents other delicious opportunities: Keep some in the refrigerator and place a spoonful over just-roasted chicken or pork; spread it on grilled bread and pass it along with cold white wine for an appetizer; enrich simple vegetable soups with a dollop, or try it as a condiment for steamed asparagus."

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe, you'll find it on my recipe blog... click HERE.


I receive many emails about some of the objects that I feature in my photos; whenever possible I will provide links to information about the items, please click the link(s) to learn more:

Glass Cruet (similar, but not identical)

Pillivuyt Round Eared dish (holding walnuts)

And the pasta maker ~

Of course you don't HAVE to make your own pasta for this recipe, and you don't need a pasta roller to make homemade pasta, but it is satisfying and rewarding to make your own ~ there is nothing the flavor and texture of homemade.

I use a pasta rolling machine similar to this one (this is a lighter weight version than my Italian one):

Pinzon Pasta Maker


This is more similar to the one I use, it is a few dollars more than the lightweight version, but it receives much better reviews:

CucinaPro 150 Imperia Pasta Machine

Thank you for stopping by today!


  1. Oh, this looks devine!! I love walnuts and know this will be delicious...I can't wait to give it a try :)


  2. I really enjoyed that book!!You have done it proud! The mask is amazing mary..Qintessentially a stroll through Venice.And we had a very similar dish the night we dined there..(Of course pasta).. not as good as yours:)And definitely not as beautifully presented..C'est beau Mary~

  3. Your pasta and dishes are positively drool-worthy! I thought I was having eggs for breakfast, now it's looking like only pasta will do :)

  4. Mari, you have no idea how happy I am to find this recipe along with your gorgeous photos! I ate it once at a restaurant & have fanaticized about it since. I could never quite get it to taste the same...I didn't use either the cinnamon or the orange, though. I bet that is what makes yours even better & I will be sure to try it very soon.

    Lovely review of the book, too, but its all about the FOOD, isn't it?? LOL

  5. What a beautiful post. That mask is amazing! I love pasta with walnut cream sauce but have never thought to add orange to it. I will try that next time. I'll be hunting down a copy of the book, too. You've intrigued me!

  6. a beautiful mask you have htere!!! Splendid post Mari! enjoyed all ur beautiful photos...the setting was incredible and the book sounds like a very good read. I wl check it out TQ (^^) and oh the paste ~ it looks fabulous!

  7. Absolutely stunning Mari...everything right from ur splendid pics to amazing pasta....ur fantastic.......with everything....

  8. This is a very tasty pasta I make often, and we enjoy it truly.

    love the story which connect the recipe. I love your presentation .

  9. Loved the book, loved the recipe and LOVE your photos.

  10. omg, i knew you would wow my senses, i am so freaking happy you joined in! i got chills as i scrolled down to the mask, don't you love playing with your books?

    and look, an M for marlena!

    oh your pasta portraits... yes, true works of art, beyond GORGEOUS! her books are very food sensual to me, i loved them ALL. i hope you read her whole series, and please make her tuscan pork, it sounded heavenly and i would love to see it thru your eyes!

    thanks so much for playing at food for thought, i hope to see you every other sat, fft is perfect for you, you always have beyond gorgeous pics, you are an exceptional cook and you create such beautiful vingnettes~

  11. Mari, the pasta looks amazing! I'll definitely be trying this. I've got this book too but haven't gotten around to reading it.

  12. wow I just have to try that pasta dish it looks so wonderful the whole presentation was delightful, I must read the book as well it sounds intreging....Mari come on over for a visit...Phyllis

  13. This post is absolutely stunning! The pasta sounds fabulous and I love how you have related it to the book. Beautiful.

  14. I have never had walnut crean sauce but it sounds so wonderful I can't wait to try it! Thank you so much for the recipe! I LOOOVE fettucine so this will be perfect! Your photography skills are amazing!!!!! XO, Pinky

  15. It's a beautiful plate of pasta, Mari ... with a flavourful vegetarian sauce. Thank you for these wonderful photos.

  16. Delightful idea, gorgeous photos ... divine recipe! Thank you. ♡

  17. It looks lovely! Thanks for posting the links. I've been wanting a marble cheeseboard and now I think I'm going to order it:D

  18. Beautiful post! That mask is amazing! But then so were the photos of your pasta dish. Yummy! No wonder you made it twice. Thanks for sharing your sources. That's a nice touch.

  19. I always enjoy trying different pasta sauces and this one looks wonderful. The book sounds so fascinating that I just popped it on the hold list...A very enjoyable post...

  20. Sensory overload here. I'm speechless... but starving!!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

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