Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fettuccine with Hazel Nuts, Broccoli, and Bacon #Recipe by @Leslie Karst

A friend recently gifted me with a bag of raw hazel nuts, but since I’m not a big fan of baking, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. But then I remembered how common they are in Italian cooking, and came up with this recipe, based on items that I had available in my fridge and larder. And it was delicious--a wonderful one-course meal. Definitely going to make it again. (And Sally Solari would absolutely approve!)

Note that the amounts listed below are not set in stone. Feel free to use more or less, depending how cheesy, bacony, or broccoli-y you desire your pasta to be.

Fettuccine with Hazel Nuts, Broccoli, and Bacon

(serves 4)


½ lb. (½ box) fettuccine, or other pasta of your choice

½ lb. bacon, chopped into 1” pieces

2 cups broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

2 T butter

1 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped

½ cup grated Parmesan (or other hard) cheese


Bring a large pot of heavily salted (1 T) water to a boil and cook the fettuccine as directed on the package.


While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large pan over medium heat till it’s cooked through, then remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan.


Sauté the broccoli in the bacon fat till tender, but still crispy, and starting to brown. Remove broccoli to a bowl.


Into the same pan, add the nuts and the butter, and sauté over medium heat until the nuts start to brown and become aromatic. 


Add the bacon back into the pan with the nuts and stir it in.


When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it into a colander, retaining 1 cup of the pasta water. Dump the pasta into the pan with the nuts and bacon and stir them together. 


Add the cooked broccoli to the pasta and stir (this is why you need a large pan to begin with!), heating everything over medium heat until the dish is once again hot. Add ½ cup of the pasta water and stir it in. Add more of the water if desired, until you get a creamy texture for the dish. 


Stir in the cheese, the plate it up! You can garnish the pasta with more cheese and/or chopped green onions or parsley. (See photo at top.)

Buon appetito!

 🍝 🌿 🐖

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:
“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


And Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are now available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!



  1. What a lovely recipe, Leslie! We have spent some time in Piedmonte and know how delicious hazelnuts can be. Thank you.

    1. I LOVE the Piedmonte! (Can you say 'truffles'?)

  2. Thank you for listing that this serves 4.
    But, really? 1/2 box of pasta for 4 people? My 4 year old granddaughter could eat that amount by herself!
    This does sound tasty.

    1. LOL, Libby. When I use half a box of pasta, it always makes two meals for Robin and me....

  3. Boy do I dislike the reCAPTCHA when it's pictures. The photos are very poor, grainy quality and hard to see.

  4. This combination sounds amazing! I never would've thought to put hazelnuts in pasta, but I can already imagine the flavor.

    1. Yes, and they give a lovely crunch to the mix, as well!

  5. This sounds really great. My husband loves hazelnuts but won't eat broccoli (I know - whatever.) Do you have thoughts on a substitute? Thanks!

    1. Ha! You could substitute something like sautéed green beans, chard, or kale--all would make for a delicious addition to pasta!

  6. I absolutely love hazelnuts (and my mother was Italian) but I don't know why I never thought of cooking with them, beyond just tossing them in a salad, eating them in biscotti and other baked goods, and enjoying them in Ferrero Rocher chocolate candy. Thanks for the inspiration, Leslie!