Walnut Sauce



Walnut Sauce

Sauces and fillings are great classics of Ligurian cuisine, especially those based on nuts and seeds: an example is the pine nuts used in Pesto alla Genovese or the walnuts for the famous walnut sauce. Let's discover how to prepare it with Chef Roberto Panizza, who reveals all the steps of this perfect condiment for pansoti: a rich but delicate taste, with rustic and intense notes. The walnut sauce is also perfect for accompanying chestnut trofie and corzetti. You can use a mixer to prepare it, but we opted for the classic marble mortar to keep the tradition unchanged and give a romantic note to the preparation. We can't wait to see how you make the walnut sauce and what you think of our version!

If you are a fan of walnut recipes, don't miss these as well:

Walnuts 3 ½ cups (400 g)
Garlic 1 clove
Stale bread 7.1 oz (200 g) - (only crumbs)
Whole milk 0.8 cup (200 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 2.6 oz (75 g) - (to grate)
Marjoram to taste
Fine salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste

How to prepare Walnut Sauce

To prepare the walnut sauce, first cut the bread into cubes 1 and transfer it to a bowl with the milk 2. Work with your hands until the bread has absorbed the milk 3 and you have obtained a grainy cream. Now shell the walnuts; you will need 200 g (7 oz) of walnut kernels.

Place a halved and de-germed garlic clove in a mortar 4. Start pounding until it completely disappears, then add the walnut kernels 6.

Pound these as well 7 until you get a creamy but still grainy mixture. Add the bread crumbs 8 and mix again with the pestle 9.

Add the marjoram 10, the extra virgin olive oil 11, and the Parmigiano 12, continuing to pound. 

Finally, add a pinch of salt and work again with the pestle 13 until you have obtained a semi-grainy cream 14. Your walnut sauce is ready 15.

How to store

The walnut sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days in a well-sealed glass jar.


Adjust the amount of milk according to the type of bread and how stale it is.

If you prefer to peel the walnuts, you can blanch them for about 5 minutes. This will make them easier to peel.

If you don't want to use a mortar, you can use a mixer.


It seems that the walnut sauce recipe was invented by Ligurian peasants specifically to dress pansoti alla Genovese, also typical of Ligurian gastronomy. Traditionally, the walnut sauce was called "Tocco de nux" or "sarsa de noxe" and was made with walnuts collected during the autumn.

For the translation of some texts, artificial intelligence tools may have been used.