When I was a kid, there was a dish my mother used to make on Christmas Eve. It was rich and lush and very, very simple. When I think of this dish, I can't help but think of the little angel chimes that stood on the table, the one with the four candles underneath that made the angels spin in circles.
Honestly, this is a dish that can be prepared at any time. I would call it a fall/winter dish as it's very filling.
The last time I made it I decided to make my own pasta, but you don't have to. It just makes the dish that little bit more special.
I recommend using an egg noodle for this dish to make it richer. Here I used about one egg per 100 grams of strong flour and added two egg yolks. I kneaded it for quite a while to let the gluten develop. I rolled it out with my pasta machine and also cut it with the pasta machine. I started the dough in my KitchenAid and then moved it to a marble slab for further processing. I let it rest for about half an hour before rolling it out. For four people you need about a pound of pasta, so 500 grams (that's a bit more, but leftovers are good!).
The sauce is very simple. You can use either cream cheese or mascarpone - it's your choice. I prefer mascarpone, but both are perfectly fine.
300 g Philadelphia cheese or mascarpone
1 cup ground walnuts (225 g)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper.
Put the cream cheese or mascarpone in a bowl. While the pasta is cooking, scoop out a few tablespoons of the boiling starch water and mix into the cream cheese. Use enough to create a creamy consistency.
Drain the noodles. Place in a large bowl, add the oil and toss the noodles in it. Add the cream cheese and nuts and toss through. Add a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley, if you like.
Serve with grated Parmagiano Reggiano.
You can experiment with this recipe. For example, if you use hazelnuts, it becomes more Piedmontese, and if you add other herbs, it becomes very different. So have fun experimenting, or be a purist - whatever you decide, the result will be buonissimo!