So, I don’t often talk about what it’s like to live in Italy since this is more of a food, recipes, travel blog instead of an expat blog, but where I live, it’s definitely not like living under the Tuscan Sun. Milan is a city, albeit a city surrounded by a beautiful country that is Italy.
Instead, today I’ll talk you about someone who IS living under the Tuscan sun, expat veteran Judy Witts Francini, aka Divina Cucina. She has her own blog, which you should definitely check out, and we were supposed to meet a few weeks ago but thanks to a stupid train strike, that meeting didn’t work out. I was so pleased to get her new cookbook, Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen: Divina Cucina’s Recipes by Judy Witts Francini in the mail with a nice note from her, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
Judy is an expat who came here 25 years ago, and stayed. I’ve only been here for 6 years, which some days seems like a long time, but then I meet someone like Judy and I realize…I’m just getting started.
Judy’s made her first cookbook, written, produced and printed locally here in Italy – Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen: Divina Cucina’s Recipes by Judy Witts Francini – I hope you check it out. David Lebovitz posted Perfect Panna Cotta from the cookbook as well!
In continuing in my “I Dare” food cooking challenge of 12 Fresh Pastas this year, I knew I wanted to make a pasta with spinach and Judy’s Salsa di Noci – Walnut Sauce / Pesto is great with the spinach pasta!
I called the pasta I made “Reginette” but they are not true Reginette which are wide ribbons but have wavy edges and therefore are difficult to do at home without special tools…but I think they’re close enough! You can make tagliatelle or fettucine instead of you prefer. I also fried up some sage leaves for a garnish.
Fresh Spinach Pasta
For 3-4 servings. Can be easily doubled.
150g fresh spinach
- In a food processor, puree the fresh spinach with the egg until all pieces are well chopped.
- Add the flour and pulse until just mixed together.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until pasta is elastic and smooth. Add more flour if dough is too sticky.
- Form into a ball, lightly oil it and cover it with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Divide the dough into at least two pieces (if the recipe is doubled, 4 pieces) and loosely form a rectangle shape with your hands. With a rolling pin (or pasta machine), roll out the dough.
- With a ravioli cutter, cut the pasta into 1/2 inch strips wide and 6-8 inches long.
- Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes in salted boiling water.
Salsa di Noci – Walnut Sauce
from Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen: Divina Cucina’s Recipes by Judy Witts Francini
Note from Judy: This sauce is traditionally served with ravioli filled with spainch and ricotta or with tagliatelle. I like to serve it on bread as an appetizer.
6oz. walnuts (170g)
2 garlic cloves
2 slices white bread
3 T. olive oil
- Remove the crusts from the bread and soak in a little milk, just enough to wet the bread.
- In a food processor, blend the bread with the walnuts and garlic until pureed.
- Add salt to taste, then add olive oil and blend again.
- It can be thinned with more milk until you have the consistency you desire.
Want to make more fresh pasta? Try some of my other fresh pasta recipes:
This is one of my favourite sauces, I remember eating a great one in Alghero. I think I might give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration.
Michelle | Bleeding Espresso says
YUM! I can’t wait for my cookbook to arrive!
erin :: the olive notes says
wow! this looks great…we’ve been talking about finally trying homemade pasta, so this will be on my list :)
The Food Hunter says
This looks wonderful. Your pasta is just so perfect…I’m jealous.
Nice! I need a new pasta recipe for the machine and spinach is starting to come in the farm share every week. I’ll post some photos when I make this. Thanks, doll!
picture perfect. i am drooling with envy and hunger.
Fern Driscoll says
Lovely recipes and photos. Here in Liguria the salsa di noce is served with pansotte, our regional stuffed pasta (filled with ‘preboggion’ – mixed wild greens) – also hard to make as the pansotte must be formed by hand to look like little crowns. yummy.
That pasta looks great and I really like the sound of the walnut sauce.
You make that cookbook sound like a must have! Your pasta dish looks luscious! But your pasta! I am so impressed, I have decided to try some of your recipes! And I so miss living in Milan and marketing at Mercato Wagner!
This looks so scrumptious – I may have to go back to making my own pasta and not be such a lazy bones. I love the sauce – I do a variation. Great posting.
La Tavola Marche says
Gorgeous! Now i’m starving!!
Oh I love walnut sauce on pasta…never used milk and bread in mine…perhaps it’s time to try something new!
This goes on my menu on Friday. Will take pics and blog about it.
Question – as an expat, how did you get used to the metric measurement system (grams, etc.)?
Gabi @ mamaliga.
Dane Sinopoli says
A outstanding Blog about how to prepare PESCO-VEGETARIAN dishes.
I just tried out this recipe. Whilst the pasta looked nice, I found 8 minutes too long as the pasta was too soft and it could have done with salt in the dough.
I still thought it was a nice recipe though, so thanks for the inspiration and photos!