Ligurian Walnut Sauce

‘Tocco’ di Nocci

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes Enough for

    1¼ lb


Appears in

Another lovely Ligurian sauce, made with walnuts and olive oil and cream cheese. Normally used to dress the local version of stuffed pasta, it is also very good as a dip or with freshly made tagliatelle.


  • 1 lb (450 g) unshelled walnuts
  • 1 thick slice white bread, crusts removed
  • 5 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese


Shell the walnuts, blanch them in boiling water and rub off their thin inner skins. Cover the bread in the milk and leave to soak. Reduce the walnuts to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or food processor. Squeeze the bread dry in your fist, then blend it into the powdered walnuts (this will prevent them from exuding any oil which would give a bitter taste). Crush the garlic to a smooth purée with the flat of a knife and stir it into the bread and walnuts, add salt and pepper and then the oil and cream cheese. Stir very thoroughly to achieve as smooth and well blended a sauce as possible. Use as required.