Spaghetti with Hazelnuts, Sage and Frizzled Onions (serves 2)
Because I adore tomatoes, and because I make a FABULOUS marinara sauce, I am a late-comer to the joys of pasta sans tomatoes. And I have to say that although my love affair with tomatoes will never fade, I am having a blast experimenting with incredibly tasty new ways to enjoy pasta.
This is more of an concept than a recipe. It starts with roasting and skinning hazelnuts. It takes about 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven to toast raw hazelnuts, and if you put them straight into a kitchen towel and rub briskly, the skins come right off. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts. Use a handful (about a ½ cup). After they cool, chop coarsely.
Next, slice a large onion very thinly.
Heat 3-4 tbsp. olive oil to medium. Add a large clove of thinly sliced garlic and sauté just until it starts to turn the slightest bit golden. Immediately use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic. Set it aside.
Add the sliced onion to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion browns and crisps. Remove the onions, set aside and keep warm.
If you have fresh sage, fry a handful of leaves in the same oil. (Mine has only recently emerged from a blanket of snow, but I think I can salvage a few leaves.) Remove the leaves and turn the heat under the oil down to low. If you don’t have fresh sage, sprinkle the oil with powdered sage after you reduce the heat.
Cook your spaghetti (we use gluten free) in salted water with a bit of olive oil. When al dente, drain and place in a large, flat bowl. Pour the oil over it the pasta, stir in the onions. Toss well to coat and garnish with the hazelnuts.
Enjoy! This is beautiful to look at and tastes even better. ~ Glyn